Linguine with Eggplant, Zucchini and Fresh Spinach

Adapted from Real Simple (July 2011)

My summer grilled vegetable pasta obsession continues with this delightful fresh pasta dish. I also loved that it afforded me another reason to use my homemade ricotta.

  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2″ thick
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 oz. fresh linguine
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving

  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic and olive oil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat grill to medium-high direct heat.
  • Brush the slices of eggplant and zucchini with 1/2 of the garlic-olive oil combination. Reserve the remaining oil. Grill the vegetables directly on the grates of the grill, taking care to position them as not to fall through. Grill vegetables until tender and lightly marked, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine according to package directions. Fresh pasta takes significantly less time than dried, so be sure to check the package and plan accordingly. Scoop out 1/2 cup of starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  • Return the pasta to the warm pot, then add a splash of the cooking water, the ricotta, Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper. Add a little more water, to blend, if necessary. If you are concerned about finicky children, stop at this point and read the tips below. Finally, add the spinach, red wine vinegar, grilled vegetables and the last of the cooking water. Toss once again. Serve in shallow bowls topped with a drizzle of the remaining garlic oil and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. For the kids, I scooped out servings of the cheesy noodles before adding the vegetables and vinegar. I then served them zucchini and eggplant on the side. They were good sports, trying a bite of each vegetable before devouring the cheesy noodles.
  • 2. In my estimation, this dish could have easily supported more vegetables. Next time, I’d consider throwing in yellow squash, grilled red peppers or portobello mushrooms.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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