Easy Summer Pasta

July 19, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

From Izy Hossack’s The Savvy Cook: "By roasting tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini together, you end up with a ratatouille-like mixture. Just whack it all in the oven for an hour and come back when you are ready to cook the penne. Throw on some torn mozzarella near the end so that it melts over the vegetables and combine with the pasta and some crème fraîche or ricotta.” —Izy Hossack

Test Kitchen Notes

Summertime pasta is one of the best and easiest ways to utilize fresh summertime produce, and this recipe will definitely point you in the right direction when those hot, sunny months roll around. It's colorful, tasty, and will surely impress your family and friends any time you serve it up. Between the abundance of tomatoes, in-season zucchini and eggplant, dried herbs, and fresh mozzarella cheese, this will be your go-to recipe every time you hit the farmers' market.

The best part about this recipe is that the oven does most of the heavy lifting. Simply roast the vegetables and mozzarella while you cook the pasta, making cleanup a breeze and a lot of the cook time totally hands-off. The garnish of the fresh cherry tomatoes on top of the hot pasta and vegetables softens them a little and helps to bring freshness and sweet bite to the final dish. Larger tomatoes can work as well; just cut them into large pieces before roasting and garnishing. And you should feel free to add whatever other vegetables you have that would roast well in the oven, from onions and garlic to broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms. You can make it your own in so many different ways by switching up the vegetables, herbs, and spices. To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the mozzarella and replace the crème fraîche/ricotta with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. To make it gluten-free, just use gluten-free pasta (such as brown rice pasta). —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Easy Summer Pasta
  • 1 3/4 cups (300 grams) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs (I like herbes de Provence)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more
  • 2 3/4 ounces (75 grams) fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into medium strips
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 grams) dried whole-wheat penne pasta (or 3 cups/300 grams cooked penne)
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche or ricotta cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the tomatoes for garnishing. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange the remaining tomatoes. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut into half-moons about 3/4 inch thick. Add to the baking sheet with the tomatoes, along with the eggplant, oil, herbs, and a big pinch of salt. Toss to combine and roast, tossing halfway through, for about 1 hour, until the vegetables are nicely caramelized. After 45 minutes, scatter the mozzarella over the top of the vegetables and return to the oven for the final 15 minutes so the cheese melts.
  2. Meanwhile, if you're using dried pasta, place in a medium pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (this will generally be the shorter cooking time on the package directions). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the saucepan.
  3. To the saucepan with the pasta, add the vegetables and cheese along with the crème fraîche and a splash of reserved pasta water (or tap water if you're using precooked pasta). Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 plates. Scatter the reserved tomatoes over the pasta.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sherry E
    Sherry E
  • Natalie
  • Jon Bass
    Jon Bass
  • MelissaH
Passionate about cakes, roasted vegetables and anything involving Maldon salt or maple syrup. Izy is a student living in London, UK who spends her spare time blogging and rambling on

4 Reviews

MelissaH June 27, 2018
Tried this tonight for dinner, using regular penne, a couple of large tomatoes, and regular American sour cream, all of which which we had in the house. It was good, but needed a little pepping up. If I did it again, I'd add some olives or capers (or both), to give it something that isn't mellow.
Sherry E. June 26, 2018
I made the other night, it states two servings, didn't have penne needed to use spaghetti, would that be 4 ounces, two per serving? and so many cherry tomatoes, I cut by a third and still found it too much, also left out ricotta at the end as it was perfectly moist just as with a bit of cooking water to finish. I know the vegetables cooked down quite a bit it just seemed like a lot to use for two servings it was good, -
Natalie June 16, 2018
Could you make this a day ahead of time? Or is it only meant to be eaten warm?
Jon B. June 21, 2018
Yes! You can prep ahead of time. Make sure to quickly place collander of pasta under cold running water immediately after boiling so that it stops cooking. Store veg and pasta in separate containers. I tried this. Works wonderfully. Try tossing with garlic (or jalapeno) infused oil when putting it all together the next day. It is amazing!