All the prep work on my summer garden has me fixated on vegetable dishes. As I scooped more seeds from bell peppers and eggplant today, my mind drifted towards a pasta primavera for dinner. I love this dish in the summertime with fresh peppers and eggplant. You can adapt the dish based on whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand.
[Updated August 12, 2011.]
2 6-quart pots
1 (1 pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 orange or green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 or 5 grinds fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
5 or 6 basil leaves, torn (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
16 ounces pasta (castellane, rotini, penne, rigatoni, or other similar shape)
1. In the 6 quart pot, prepare pasta according to package directions.
***While the pasta cooks***
2. In the 6 quart pot, saute the onion in olive oil until the onion glistens. Add the garlic and saute until garlic starts turning golden.
3. Add the eggplant. Saute about 8 minutes, until it starts browning. Add the bell peppers and saute until the peppers are just hot.
4. Stir in the zucchini, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender. Don’t overcook or the vegetables will be mushy.
5. Drain the pasta and put it back in the 8 quart pot. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes or so, until the pasta absorbs some of the juices.
6. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan.