Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Warm Pasta Salad
with Grilled Marinated Eggplant,
Sausage, and Mushrooms

Serves 6



1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus olive oil for brushing
2 large Japanese eggplants (about 1 lb),
   sliced lengthwise (or 1 lb regular eggplant, sliced)

Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper
1/2 lb Portobello mushrooms, caps and stems separated,
   caps left whole, stems trimmed and sliced lengthwise
1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia
   or Walla Walla) cut into 3/4" slices
2 large beefsteak tomatoes sliced into 3/4" slices
   (or use about 5 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise)
1 lb Italian sausage (hot or sweet, your preference)
1 lb pasta (I prefer rigatoni with
   this dish, but any pasta will work)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup basil, julienne
1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)



In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil to make marinade. Place eggplants in a zip-top plastic bag. Pour in marinade and marinate for 1 hour, turning bag every 15 minutes.

Spray grill racks well with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high heat. Remove eggplant from marinade, shaking off excess; reserve marinade. Season eggplant, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes with salt and pepper and brush well with olive oil. Grill vegetables and sausage until well browned and softened and sausage is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board. Coarsely chop all vegetables and slice sausage. Combine and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente; drain.

Take 1 cup of reserved marinade and whisk with remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, parsley, basil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Return drained pasta to pot. Add vegetables, sausage and dressing and combine well. Add shaved Romano, toss to coat and serve immediately.


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This page created July 2000