This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!
You guys know how much I love to grill. As soon as the snow melts in the spring, you can find me outside by the grill. (And sometimes I’m out there even before the snow melts. I’ve been known to shovel a path to the grill!) There’s something about being outside on a warm summer day. The smell of the charcoal grill. The feeling of freshly cut grass between your toes. And for me, the sights of wandering through the garden. One of my favorite things to do whenever I’ve got food on the grill is head over to the garden to see if there are any ripe veggies or berries. (Of course, that depends on what’s on the grill. There was that one time that I spent too long in the garden….and my Grilled Bruschetta turned a bit, uh, crispier that I would’ve liked!)
I’ve never thought of myself as a master gardener (I leave that to my Mom), but I have picked up tips along the way. Speaking of my Mom, I have to include a photo of this iris that she brought me last year. Autumn is the perfect time for planting bulbs, and she split (i.e. dug up a portion) of this iris from her yard in Nashville and then replanted it in our yard when she came to visit in September. Yup, she put it in her suitcase and brought those bulbs along with her!
Bulbs are incredibly easy, and we always enjoy seeing them come up in the spring. The fun story about these bulbs is that they’ve been in the family since before the Civil War. I kid you not. My great-great grandmother planted this iris in her yard in Belton, SC, and my mother remembers picking the flowers when she was a little girl. At some point, my mother split that original iris, and she has taken it with her from house to house. It started in Charleston, then it came along with us to 2 different houses in Raleigh, NC, and then she took the bulbs with her to Nashville. And now I have my own clump of bulbs of that very iris. And here’s the funny thing: we don’t even know the name of this iris! But we do know it’s been in the family for well over somewhere around 150 years. Kinda cool, right?
I was a little bit surprised that the iris survived our northeastern winter, but it did. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good reason to celebrate! (I don’t need much of a reason to pull out the grill!) Once I put the veggies and sausages on the grill for this Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables, I grabbed my camera to get a couple photos of the iris. And I called my mom to tell her that it is alive and happy in our yard now. Needless to say, she was super excited!
This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is one heck of an awesome summer meal! Everything except for the pasta gets cooked on the grill, and then it all gets cut up and mixed together. Whenever I use charcoal briquets, I always use Kingsford’s Match Light Instant Light Charcoal. The flavor of grilling on charcoal is amazing, and I made sure to grab another bag of Kingsford Charcoal last weekend at Walmart. The briquets are already infused with lighter fluid, so they light quickly with no additional lighter fluid or a charcoal starter. Nice and easy!
Have you guys ever grilled vegetables? They’re tasty, right? But they can sometimes be difficult to grill. Here’s an easy tip: leave the vegetables in large pieces when you grill ’em. For instance, I just halved the squash and tomatoes. And I cut the eggplant into 4 big slices. The big pieces are easier to flip, and then you can just slice the veggies up when you mix them with the pasta. A fun thing about this Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is you can use whatever veggies you like or have on hand. Like squash? Add an extra one on the grill. Prefer zucchini? Use that instead. Or use both! This recipe is super versatile, and the smoky flavor of the grill really comes through. It tastes like summer on a plate!
What reason do you have to celebrate this week? Share yours with Kingsford on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You might even win an instant barbecue kit! So let’s fire up the grill this weekend and make some Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables, ok? Cheers, my friends!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kingsford®. The opinions and text are all mine.