Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Summer salads are a staple on barbecue tables everywhere; potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, and pasta salads.  Make your menu memorable with this cold Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad.  Step out of the ordinary with a pasta salad that features your favorite fresh summer vegetables, grilled to caramelized perfection with an added smoky flavor that you can't get in your oven.

This pasta salad is so simple and truly celebrates the flavors of summer with eggplant, zucchini, yellow bell peppers and gorgeous grape tomatoes!  It is really versatile too, what is growing in your garden?  Pasta salads are truly a favorite of mine.  But, the grilled vegetables really help to turn up the heat on this sizzling summer pasta salad. 

How do you turn this fabulous Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad into a spectacular and unforgettable dish?  Make sure you don't skimp on the star of the dish.  The star in a pasta salad is indeed the pasta.  Perhaps you can have a marvelous pasta salad with your standard commercially dried pasta that you buy in the grocery store.

TSRI TIP:  To really elevate this dish, buy summer veggies on sale and splurge on the really good pasta.

If you are looking for extraordinary pasta, look no further than Fresina's Pasta Co & Italian Specialties.  Established in 1926, they are still making pasta today the way they did back then; with no preservatives, no additives and no artificial coloring.  Only the finest 100% Durum wheat is used to make this pasta for 3 generations.

Check out a quick video to see the pasta being made.

Their handmade pastas are truly a treat! The Fleur de Lis pasta was amazing in the pasta salad.  It really held up to the ingredients and was a true star!   To be honest, I was a little reluctant to try the wheat pasta that I received from Fresina's.  In the pasta, I have never cared for wheat pasta.  I was willing to sample it.  I figure the worst that could happen, I would be eating this fabulous Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad for dinner.  Seemed like a win - win to me.  So, I put on a large pot of water.  Once it was boiling I seasoning it liberally with salt and put this very impressive looking vermicelli (a very long, slender pasta) in the pot.  I kid you not, it 'melted' into the pot in less than 30 seconds.  I was prepared to stand there and swirl it as you do with store bought pasta until all of the spaghetti is finally in the pot.  

Immediately I thought "this is different".  So I drained the pasta and served it with their yummy chunky pasta sauce.  It was fantastic!  I ate it all.  Munchkin devoured hers and even Chad said he really enjoyed it.  So, I decided to put the pasta to my test.  If this wheat pasta is so fantastic, I will enjoy it as comfort food.  My comfort food recipe is 1 plate of spaghetti, 1 tablespoon butter (ok, maybe two), and as much Parmesan cheese as I can grate on top without my arm falling off.  Seriously, I loved it and you are going to love it too!

Fresina's Pasta Co & Italian Specialties is very generously giving away a custom Tour of Italia Gift Box (and will ship to the winners home) with an approximate retail value of $125.

Earn BONUS entries today by PINNING and FACEBOOK SHARING this post!   Check the giveaway for details.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
For the grilled vegetables
1 eggplant, sliced into thin round
3 zucchini, sliced thin long ways
1 yellow pepper, cleaned and cut in half
2 cups grape tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta salad
8 ounces of your favorite pasta, I used Fresina's Fleur De Lis pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Remove from heat and toss in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.  Allow to cool.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Stir to combine and set aside.

Place sliced veggies in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.  Drizzle both sides of veggies with olive.  Be careful not to use too much.  Note:  Eggplant absorbs like  sponge, use care.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Place veggies on grill and allow to cook until they they are nicely charred with grill marks, about 3 minutes.  Flip and grill the second side.  Remove tomatoes after grilling the first side.

Remove from grill and slice vegetables into bite sized pieces.  Add vegetables and cheese to pasta and toss gently to combine.  Drizzle olive oil and garlic sauce over top.  Toss gently to coat.  Garnish with remaining cheese.

Serve cold or warm in the microwave for a nice treat.  Enjoy!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com

All recipes, photography and content are copyrighted by The Slow Roasted Italian and e3studios.com.  No commercial use is authorized, without written consent from The Slow Roasted Italian and e3Studios.com.   All rights reserved.  The Slow Roasted Italian © 2011-2012.


  1. I love pasta salads that are chock full of fresh summer time veges! This looks fabulous!

  2. I like my pasta salads with a TON of veggies. Yours looks os fresh and great tip to splurge on quality pasta.. it will truly make all the difference. Donna, your pictures are always so clear and beautiful! I love the props and photo composition in your photos too. Very pretty to look at. :)

  3. Such a summery and flavourful salad! The more veggies, the better!

  4. this looks wonderful + i love the fleur de lis pasta - too fun!

  5. Oooh, love the idea of pairing my favorite roasted veggies with pasta for a summer pasta salad! And your pasta shape is SO cute! Off to check your giveaway :)


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