Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies!  It tastes like summer on a plate!

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!)

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!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?

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!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.

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!

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?

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!

Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies!  It tastes like summer on a plate!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 714kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant cut lengthwise into 4 thick slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium red onion halved
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • tsp salt divided
  • tsp Italian seasonings divided
  • 1 pound Italian sausage links hot or mild
  • 4 Roma tomatoes halved
  • 1 16-oz. box rigatoni pasta
  • ¾ cup fresh basil chopped
  • tsp garlic minced
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Light charcoal grill for direct heat. (I aim for ~350-375°F when grilling veggies.)
  • Brush eggplant, squash and red onions with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle tops of veggies with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp Italian seasonings.
  • In a separate bowl, toss Roma tomatoes with ½ Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp Italian seasonings.
  • Place eggplant, squash and onion on grill cut-sides down. Also place sausage on grill at this stage. Grill for 8-9 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Place Roma tomatoes on grill cut-side down and continue grilling for 3-4 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender and sausage is fully cooked. Set vegetables and sausage aside to rest.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions.
  • Slice the vegetables and sausage. In a large bowl, add pasta, remaining 1½ Tbsp olive oil, sliced vegetables and sausage, chopped basil and garlic. Toss until well combined.
  • Divide into serving bowls and top with spoonful of ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese.

 

This Rigatoni with Grilled Vegetables is packed with fresh summer veggies! It tastes like summer on a plate!

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30 Comments

  1. David I laughed when you said that sometimes you’re even out grilling before the snow melts, making a path to your grill! The reason why I laughed is that I think you would get on so well with my Dad. Both my Dad and my mum adore bbqing just about every single day and ALL year round. You’ll frequently find him outside under a brolly when its raining, bbqing, lol! Still they are retired so they have the time to do such things! And, as for this recipe? It’s making me drool thinking of all those juicy pieces of Italian sausage combined with the delicious grilled vegetables and ricotta and parmesan cheese mixed in. Yum! 🙂

    1. You laugh, Neil. But I have most definitely shoveled a path through the snow to my grill before. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? 🙂 It sounds like your Dad and I would get along quite nicely. Haha! So I’ve gotta say that these grilled veggies + sausage over pasta is a new favorite around here. We’ve made this one several times already, and I’ve even made a batch to take to friends who just had a new baby. Thanks so much for the kind words!

  2. That is a really cool story about the Iris bulbs. I didn’t know that they could survive after that many years! I love the grilled vegetables and Italian sausage. This recipe is a winner. I don’t think we have ever grilled vegetables, we will have to try it.

    1. Yeah, I had no idea irises could survive like that, either…especially the move from the southeast up here to the frozen tundra of upstate New York! So this recipe for grilled veggies + sausage is absolutely a new summer staple around here! I highly (highly!) recommend trying it out sometime soon. And grill it over charcoal if you can…the flavor is just out of this world! Thanks so much, Dawn!

  3. That is so cool the irises have been in your family for so long! As soon as I learn how not to kill plants, I’m coming up there to get some bulbs of my own :). Don’t worry, I’ll bring cake. This rigatoni sounds delicious! I absolutely love veggies on the grill (or anything on the grill really). Have a great week, David!

    1. Hey, if these irises can last that long, then I think it’s a credit to the iris…not me! I mean we live in the frozen tundra of upstate New York. If these irises can survive winters up here, then they can survive anything! Also, I’ll gladly split these irises in exchange for a cake (or two) from your vault of cakely amazingness. (Yes, I just made up both of those words…but it just seemed appropriate. Hah!) I’ll even supply an endless amount of grilled veggies for our iris + cake party. Thanks, Kelsie! Hope you’re staying (sorta) cool out there!

  4. Hi David. Everything tastes better cooked on the grill, especially vegetables. We had grilled steak, corn and mushrooms last night. We grill year round; when we lived in MI I’d just bundle up and sweep the snow of grill. Irises are one of my favorite flowers and Gary transplanted a lot of them down here from MI, along with day lilies and hosta.

    1. Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more, Dorothy! You know we love to pull the grill out up here, and I’ve gotta say that this sausage + grilled veggies recipe is a real keeper! We’ve made it several times recently, including making a big batch for a friend who just had a new baby. And now we have yet one more thing in common…our love for irisis and day lilies! And we have tons of hosta all around our front yard. In fact, it’s time to go clip off the bloom stalks. (Not sure what the technical term is for those…but I’ve gotta clip ’em off nonetheless. Haha!)

  5. I’ve been waiting for this recipe, David! As a person who loves the Italian cuisine, you had to make this kind of summery pasta at least once. There’s a little secret (don’t tell anyone please). Although I love to experiment with my summer pasta by adding unusual ingredients, if I have a choice, I will always pick the kind of pasta you’ve got today. Don’t get it wrong – I do love all my pasta versions, still, there’s nothing better than a good classic combo. Like here…grilled veggies, basil, ricotta, and pasta (I don’t mind leaving out the sausage). What can be better? Also, those tomato bruschettas look fantastic. Grilled a little too much? Perhaps, but I don’t mind. Besides, the Italians consider a good pizza crust has to have some black spots on it…I believe so does a good brushetta! Well done, David!

    1. I’m right there with ya on the Italian food, Ben! You know that. We have some variation of Italian food pretty regularly around here. Sometimes they are so simple they just don’t make it to the blog, but the flavors of Italian food are just so perfect together. I’ve gotta say that these grilled veggies over pasta? Wow! A keeper for sure. I know you don’t have a grill, but you need to go buy one just to make this recipe. 🙂 Also, I agree with you on burnt bits on a good pizza crust…but that first round of grilled bruschetta was charred to a crisp. Literally. I had to run out to the store to get another loaf of bread that day. Annoying!! Thanks so much, my friend!

  6. I love the story of the irises! They are beautiful! And you are so lucky to be carrying on the tradition! Your mom sounds amazing, BTW! I do love grilled vegetables, they taste so much better than any kind you cook indoors – why is that? Lovely dish, too!

    1. I couldn’t believe it when my Mom told me the story behind those irisis. What a fun tradition! I also couldn’t believe they survived the northeastern winter up here…but, sure enough, they did! Grilled veggies are one of our go-to’s all summer long. I think it’s the charcoal flavor that really takes ’em to a whole new level. Grilling over charcoal just tastes like summer! 🙂 Thanks so much, Laura!

  7. What a sweet story about the Irises – 150 years! It gives them a whole new level of beauty.

    This style of pasta is exactly what we’re loving to eat right now. Love that it has heft with pasta and sausage but is also loaded with veggies!

    1. I know! I can hardly believe that those irises have been around since pre-Civil War days. That’s nuts! But so cool, too. Now I just have to do my best to not mow them down with the lawn mower. haha! So this pasta with grilled veggies + sausage is seriously a keeper, Marissa. We’ve made this dish several times already, and I actually just made a big batch for a friend who just had another baby. It’s good enough to take places…that’s how good it is! 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

  8. I’m digging the sausage in this dish, David. I also love that it has a light, oil dressing. I have some linguine in the cupboard, and am tempted to try to adapt it to fit, but I don’t think it’s work. I’ll have to run out and get some short pasta. (Love the iris history, btw.)

    1. So I’m not sure linguine would work in this one, Jeff. I mean it wouldn’t be bad, but I do recommend a short pasta here. And load up on veggies while you’re out getting that pasta, too. There’s something about veggies (and sausage) grilled over charcoal! Colder days are coming, but I’m determined to keep on grilling up until the last bitter moment. Hah! Thanks so much, my friend!

  9. Mmmmm look at that sausage, of course, my mouth is watering and stomach is growling after reading this post. I could totally see you shoveling a path to the grill lol. I’m hoping to start a garden as soon as I can. I might even participate in my local community garden this year. Bulbs travel well lol

    1. Oh man, I have totally shoveled a path to my grill before, Mary. In fact, I’ve done it on more than one occasion. Desperate times call for desperate measures! And by the time early spring/late winter rolls around, I just can’t wait any longer! You should totally do a community garden this year! What a fun activity. And I can already see some awesome posts about it. 🙂

  10. Those irises are amazing! 150 years!!! No pressure on you to keep them going! 🙂 I think splitting and sharing plants is a lost art. Most people just go to the store and buy a plant. Keep it going! These grilled veggies look amazing! Nothing better than fresh veggies on the grill! Keep up the great work!

    1. Yeah, I know, Kathy! On one hand, I’m amazed those irises have been around since pre-Civil War days. On the other hand, I’m afraid that I’m the one who’ll let ’em die. Hah! But then again, if they survived this northeastern winter, then they can survive anything! Also, these grilled veggies are amazing. We’ve seriously made this one several times lately. Thanks so much, my friend!

  11. There is a distinct and delicious flavor of charcoal grilled vegetables!! Those black spots, the smokiness is just amazing! Love the simple flavors in this pasta..Just so good with those colorful grilled summer vegetables!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Deepika! Veggies grilled over charcoal just have such an amazing taste. I could seriously eat ’em every night during the summer! And, yes, this pasta dish really lets the flavors of the veggies come to the front. It’s perfect for a hot summer night. Thanks so much for the kind words, my friend! 🙂

  12. Since my husband is usually in charge of the grill, vegetables rarely find their way on to it – I have to show him your recipe. It looks delicious, lovely flavour combination! The story about the iris is so heart warming, how incredible to have that much history linked to it and what an amazing mum for planting the bulbs in your garden. I read in the comments above that you have to be careful not to mow it over, that made me laugh so much as my husband managed to do exactly that to my favourite plant 4 years in a row. This year was the first year that it managed to flower 🙂 Have a great weekend, David!

    1. Haha! I totally chuckled at the thought of your husband avoiding veggies. 🙂 But veggies on the grill…especially a charcoal grill…have SO much flavor! And you can still throw sausage or other meat on there, too.

      Wait. Your husband mowed down your favorite plant…4 times in a row!?! You should tell him to stick to the grill! Haha! Thanks so much, Miriam, and I hope you guys all have a great weekend, too!

  13. David, your mom’s my hero! I’m in awe that she smuggled that iris bulb over – and am more in awe that that aris bulb is related to the one your great-great grandmother had! WOW!
    And yup, I’ve had grilled veggies and they are so so good! Though am not sure why I’ve never had grilled veggies and rigatoni pasta – gah, that needs to change pronto eh!? 🙂

    1. I had no idea that iris bulbs could last so long! I mean I guess it makes sense as they come back each year…but still. That bulb family has been from upstate SC to Charleston, SC to Raleigh, NC to Nashville, TN and now to upstate NY. Crazy talk!

      So next time you grill veggies, toss them with some rigatoni for a full meal. Trust me on this one! Plus, the charcoal flavor of grilled veggies is so delicious! 🙂 Thanks, Shashi!!

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