Summer squash, bell peppers, onion, and asparagus make up this pasta primavera that brings in the sweetness of the grilled vegetables with a light cream sauce, basil, and parmesan to make a fresh and filling dish.
Why this recipe works:
- Grilling the vegetables leaves them with a light char, softened texture, and enhanced sweetness
- A light garlic and lemon cream sauce gives a nice robustness to the dish without it feeling overly rich
- A finely sprinkling of parmesan adds a salty and nutty contrast to the sweet vegetables
- 1lb gemelli or pasta of your choice
- 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into 1/4-slices lengthwise
- 2 medium yellow squash, ends trimmed and cut into 1/4-slices lengthwise
- 2 medium bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 4 flat portions
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds and skewered horizontally
- 1/2lb asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
- Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Type of fire: Direct
- Grill heat: medium-high
Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Brush all vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables on grill and cooked until browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side for zucchini, yellow squash, and peppers, and about 5 minutes per side for onions. Transfer vegetables to cutting board and cut into a fine dice.
Place 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until fragrant and bubbles start to form around garlic, 30-60 seconds. Stir in heavy cream and reserved pasta cooking liquid; heat until warmed through.
Place pasta in a large bowl and toss with warm cream sauce. Stir in chopped vegetables and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.