Italian Summer Recipes: Pasta, grilled vegetables and pesto

Pasta, grilled vegetables and pesto

Pasta, verdure grigliate e pesto

Serves 4 ➤ Preparation 20 minutes ➤ Cooking 10-30 minutes

I like to grill my vegetables on the barbecue and cook the pasta on the stove, then combine the pasta dish and eat it while other things that need grilling take up the space on the barbecue. The pesto is very important as it draws the various elements together into a dish, and I would recommend you make it yourself if you can – it’s so much better. Whenever you make pesto, prepare a bit extra and refrigerate before you add the cheese. It will store for a couple of weeks and this way you have a supply for adding to soups, pasta and other dishes…

Roast Veg and pasta

400g fusilli or penne

sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

2 courgettes, sliced thinly lengthways

2 peppers, sliced lengthways and seeded

1 aubergine, sliced lengthways, sprinkled with sea salt, stood in a colander under a heavy plate for 1 hour, then rinsed and dried

1 large red onion, peeled, sliced lengthways into 8 flat, thick slices
(keep the root stub intact so the slices remain whole)

4 large, beefsteak tomatoes, sliced very thickly across

150ml olive oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 tbsp good-quality basil pesto

extra oil for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Heat the grill to medium. Grill each vegetable in batches until just tender, brushing with olive oil. As soon as the vegetables are cooked, arrange them in a wide bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley, and season with salt and pepper. When all the vegetables are grilled and in the bowl, sprinkle with the remaining olive oil. Keep as warm as possible.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Add the vegetables to the pasta. Season and add the pesto. Toss thoroughly, adding more oil if necessary. Serve at once.