Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spaghetti With Grilled Ratatouille

I made this dish for me.  It if full of things that one or more of my family members don't care for.  However, I had the eggplant and the zucchini from my Front Porch Pickings basket and I had this in the to try file, and I really wanted to try it.  It was pretty easy to make.  The only things that may be difficult for one when making it really depends on the individual.  Are you uncomfortable with a knife?  Well there is a good bit of easy chopping.  The grill can also be a pain if you have charcoal, since that adds to the time involved.  (or if like us, the gas ran out half way through the cooking time:)  The good news, was it was wonderful!  Everyone liked it.  My son, who usually gags when eating eggplant loved it.  (he didn't realize that there was eggplant in it until near the end of the meal;)  It is a really nice, loaded with veggies, dish that pleased everyone.  I did alter the recipe only a tiny bit.  I stirred about 1/3 of the goat cheese in to the pasta and sauce at the end when
cooking it for 2 minutes to let the sauce soak in to the pasta, and I stirred about 1/3 of the veggies into the pasta rather than piling them all on top.  Oh and I roughly chopped the olives too.  (Like quarters) That is a personal preference and there is no need to do it.  I think next time I will do half of the goat cheese; I like that it helps get it in every bite.  The veggies seemed to need salt, but don't adjust the seasoning until the olives are mixed in. 

Spaghetti With Grilled Ratatouille

1 lb ripe plum tomatoes,halved
2    medium zucchini (about 12 oz.),trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch round
2    baby eggplants (about 12 oz.),trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch round
1    large red bell pepper (about 8 oz.),stemmed, seeded, and quartered
1    large red onion (about 16 oz) cut into 1/2-inch slices
1    small head garlic
1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil
1 t  herbes de Provence
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 c  pitted Kalamata olives
12 oz dried thin spaghetti
2    Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 t  chopped fresh marjoram
1/2 c  crumbled feta or goat cheese
Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire. Meanwhile, in a large
bowl, toss the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, onion, and
garlic with 3 Tbs. of the oil, the herbes de Provence, and a generous
sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Put the vegetables (tomatoes cut side up) and garlic on the grill in a
single layer and cover. Grill the tomatoes without turning until their
skins have darkened and their flesh is soft; grill the remaining
vegetables, turning once, until grill-marked and tender, about 8
minutes.  Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a medium bowl. Transfer
the remaining vegetables to another medium bowl and let cool briefly.
When cool enough to handle, very coarsely chop the zucchini, eggplant,
bell pepper, and onion; return to the bowl and add 1/2 cup of the
olives to the bowl.
Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins into a food processor. Add
the remaining 1/4 cup of olives, the tomatoes, and the remaining 1 Tbs.
of oil; process until smooth.
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a large
pot.  Cook the spaghetti in the water about 1 minute less than the
package timing for al dente texture. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water,
drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
Toss 1/2 cup of the tomato-olive sauce and the basil and marjoram with
the warm vegetables in the bowl. Toss the remaining sauce and the
reserved cooking liquid with the pasta; stir over low heat for about 2
minutes so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Divide the pasta among
4 plates, top with the vegetables, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve.

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