Last week I posted about a Grilled Vegetable "Bolognese" Pasta Sauce that was made completely out of vegetables that I served with Homemade Pappardelle. We loved it so much that I decided to make it again, but with a few new ingredients that seem to make everything even better... Fresh Mozzarella and Pancetta. Instead of making the Homemade Pasta, I opted for rigatoni. Now, we can't decide which version we like the best... a nice dilemma to have.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta
with Fresh Mozzarella & Pancetta
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 yellow pepper, seeded and quartered
3 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1/2 cup of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
sea salt & pepper
2 tablespoons of sea salt
1 pound of rigatoni
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1 inch pieces
Combine 3 sliced cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the oil on all sides of the sliced vegetables. Reserve the remaining oil. Sprinkle each vegetable with sea salt and cracked pepper.
Grill the vegetables for 3-4 minutes on each side until good color has developed and the vegetables are tender. Remove the vegetables from the grill and bring them inside, let cool. Cut the vegetables into 1-inch pieces.
Meanwhile, boil a pot of water with 2 tablespoons of sea salt for the pasta.
In a large saute pan, cook pancetta until crispy. Add reserved olive oil with sliced garlic cloves. Cook for 30 seconds on medium high just until the garlic begins to bubble. Add the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 10-20 seconds longer, then add chopped vegetables and stir the mixture. The more tender vegetables like the eggplant and tomatoes will naturally break apart to create the sauce.
Cook the pasta in the salted, boiling water just until al dente. Add a 1/4 cup of pasta water to the sauce to thin it slightly. Add more, if needed. Remove it from the water and add it directly to the sauce, toss it with the pasta. Add fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. Toss together.