Every summer, I get about half-way through and want...chili. Pot Roast. Lamb shanks. I'm a bit perverse, I'm fond of saying. I can't wait for the first grilled chicken and tomato salads. I'm nuts about burgers on the patio in May with zin. But there comes a day when salad looks bleh (stick out tongue) and I don't even much care about that long-awaited burger. I want something real. I want pasta. And I don't want it in a restaurant.
So last year, in January (way ahead), I experimented with a pasta dish that included grilled vegetables and sausage, but I still made a cooked sauce in a pot. A lot of folks have been interested in that post, so here's a continuation...
- 1# whole wheat pasta (I like 365 Whole Foods brand)
- sprig of basil for the pasta water, plus 1/4 cup shredded to finish dish
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 Japanese eggplant, unpeeled, and sliced (or 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2" x 2" pieces)
- 2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/4"-1/2" thick
- 2 peeled onions, sliced 1/2" thick
- Canola oil to oil grill
- 4 Italian sausages
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided (a bit to cook garlic; the rest to toss with pasta toward end)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 cups fresh ricotta, homemade or store-bought
- crushed red pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)