August 26, 2010

Dinner: Grilled Veggie Pasta

Marinated summer veggies on the grill. Colorful red pepper, zucchini, red onion, and mushrooms. I could make a meal of just those beauties.

But in order to make it a "real" meal, I served it with the simple, fresh flavors of penne pasta, Parmesan, and fresh basil. The addition of a grilled chicken breast was optional depending on how much you like meat. Leftovers are fantastic cold; I chopped some chicken to toss into the pasta for lunch the next day.

I recommend chopping the veggies in advance so that all you have to do to prep is grill, cook pasta, chop basil, and put it all together.
Also, this picture isn't all that pretty, but it was pretty darn attractive in person.

End-of-Summer Pasta

1  cup  olive oil
1/3  cup  reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4  cup  balsamic vinegar
3  tablespoons  Dijon mustard
6  cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2  pounds  boned, skinned chicken breast halves, rinsed
1  pound  zucchini
2  red bell peppers (12 oz. total)
2  portabella mushroom caps (7 oz. total) OR sliced mushrooms
1  red onion (12 oz.)
1  package (1 lb.) dried penne pasta
1 1/2  cups  freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
1/2  cup  slivered fresh basil leaves

1. In a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for basting vegetables; pour remaining into a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips and add to bag. Seal bag and turn to coat. Chill about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, rinse zucchini, bell peppers, and mushroom caps. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Stem and seed bell peppers; quarter lengthwise. Peel onion and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush vegetables with reserved marinade.

3. Cooking in batches if necessary, lay vegetables and chicken (discard marinade) on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until vegetables are slightly charred and chicken is no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), 6 to 10 minutes total. Let cool a few minutes. Chop vegetables and chicken into 1-inch pieces.

4. Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, and cook, uncovered, until barely tender to bite, 9 to 13 minutes. Drain.

5. In a large bowl, mix pasta with remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, parmesan cheese, half the chopped vegetables and chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining vegetables and chicken. Garnish with sliced basil.

1 comment:

  1. Did you grill those veggies on charcoal or gas? I prefer to grill them on gas. Unlike meat which requires more heat, not all veggies are suited for grilling and needs a moderated temperature.
    Dominic Pablo @


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