Made nearly totally on the grill, this spicy-cheesy pasta fills the bill
when you're sick of the typical summer salads, grilled fish and
chicken. Have a few extra minutes? I show you how to make the cheese
yourself. For a filling vegetarian grilled entree, skip the sausage. —Alyce Morgan
Whole Wheat linguine
Fresh basil plus 1/4 cup julienne to finish dish
Olive oil, divided (1 for microwaving garlic and 2 for tossing pasta)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
each: Japanese eggplant, zucchini, peeled large onion, sliced into 1/3 - 1/2" rounds
On outdoor grill burner (or indoors), bring a kettle of water seasoned with salt, pepper, and a sprig of basil to a boil. Add pasta. Cook until al dente, drain, and pour into a large pasta bowl or another pot. Toss with 2T olive oil.
Meantime, oil grill and heat to medium. Directly on grill, or on racks, grill salted and peppered eggplant, zucchini, and onion a few minutes on each side until grill marks show and vegetables are just tender. Add to pasta bowl. Grill Italian sausages, turning once or twice, about six minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked. Let rest, slice and add to pasta mixture. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook minced garlic and a bit of olive oil together in the microwave on high, in a microwave-safe container (Pyrex cup works well) for 30 seconds or so. To pasta mixture, add the cooked garlic, ricotta, cut cherry tomatoes, julienne basil, and crushed red pepper. Toss well. Taste and re-season. Serve warm or at room temperature, passing Parmesan at table if desired. Eat outdoors if possible and drink a very cold, full-bodied Italian rose with this meal. If temperature is cooler, a light Italian red would also drink.