Friday, 2 August 2013

Hotter than July!

Insalata di Pasta con Verdure alla Griglia
Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Today was a hot day... it was a SCORCHING HOT day- and by the time I got home from work I felt like I had run a marathon... in a sauna! Ugh! It is only August the 2nd, but already it is much hotter than July and even though Stevie Wonder claimed everyone was feeling pretty in his song... in this heat- everyone if feeling kinda rough from the looks of them!

It is seriously too hot to be stood in front of a stove cooking for too long, so my quick and easy dishes should be the perfect thing to quickly whip-up after a hard days work... dishes like this one here! How does a healthy pasta salad sound to you? Without the heavy mayonnaise or tons of dressing to make it stodgy and heavy? Yeah- I though you might like that!

To make this dish, I began by boiling up a pan of water and cooking the pasta as usual, with plenty of salt for around 8-9 minutes, for pasta of this kind of shape. Which gave me time to get busy with the vegetables.

I had a half of an eggplant, half a zucchini, 2 Spring onions and 1 large tomato... plenty to make a great meal with!  And at this point, I may as well make my confession and own up to having not prepared the vegetables on a real, outdoor grill, but rather on a grill skillet indoors... oh well!

I started off "grilling" the eggplant on a dry pan at first, for 2-3 minutes, until it began to brown and then added a little olive oil. At this point I also added a little crushed garlic, the Spring onion and zucchini, a hint of nutmeg and a little dried-oregano. I continued browning the vegetables off and suddenly realized the pasta had been boiling away for 6 minutes!

Next, I cut 2 nice thick slices of "Cedra" lemon peel and added them to the saucepan, to blanche for the remaining minute or 2 of cooking time. I also cut a little criss-cross cut into the end of my tomato, in order to blanche and peel it and popped that into the saucepan too!

As soon as the pasta was done, I drained it, added a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and set it to one side to cool down- after all- this was going to be salad!

Back to the vegetables... I added a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper and tossed them until they became lightly caramelized, then set them to one side too. Next, in went the tomato- which I had peeled, removed the seeds of and also salted and peppered. After 2-3 minutes at a high temperature, I added a little olive oil too, as well as a tiny hint of honey and lemon juice... and then out came the tomatoes too!

I served the vegetables up mixed with the pasta, setting the tomatoes on top and adding a fine dice of the now cool and mild Cedra lemon peel- this added a great Summery flavor and went wonderfully with all of the other ingredients too! Because of the citrus flavors, I decided not to add cheese to this dish, but added a sprinkle of the cedra peel which I first cut into a fine dice- delicious! I seasoned with olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper, a splash of Tabasco and a little lemon juice.

So that was just 10-15 minutes in the kitchen at the most! And thankfully, the rest of the evening to relax and enjoy! So I hope all of you do too!


  1. Hallo,

    warme Grüße aus NRW in Deutschland sendet Dir Anfrieda!
    Bei uns war es gestern auch sehr warm, wir hatten 38 Grad - puh. Solche Temperaturen sind ganz schön anstrengend. Da hast Du Recht, wenn es bei Dir nur leichte Küche gibt. Und Dein Nudelgericht sieht sehr köstlich aus! Tolles Rezept!

    Ein schönes Wochenende
    wünscht Dir

  2. Hallo liebe Anfrieda, es freut mich das es Dir gefällt... Die Temperaturen gefallen mir weniger, haha! Da muss man das beste draus machen... Und die Gerichte leicht behalten... Macht aber auch Spaß! Viel Vergnügen beim nach kochen und viele Grüße aus Frankfurt- Francesco

  3. Lieber Francesco,

    Du sendet die Grüße aus Frankfurt?
    Ich dachte, Du kommst aus England oder Amerika ;-))
    Deine Seite wird immer in Englisch angezeigt, daher dachte ich, dass Du weiter weg wohnst!
    Das ist ja lustig. Dann sende ich Dir meine heutigen Grüße nach Frankfurt!