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This is a wonderful pasta salad for those hot summer days. It is very tasty and you can substitute or add to it, your preference. It may seem like a lot of steps, but once you get started, it takes no time to make and even less time to eat. My boyfriend Marvin likes the fettuccine noodles instead of the spaghetti. But you can use either one and still achieve a great taste.
- 1⁄2 cup fresh basil
- 1⁄2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded & minced)
- 2 teaspoons lemon peel, finely shredded
- 6 ounces spaghetti or 6 ounces fettuccine
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small onion (or you can use 2 leeks)
- 1 small eggplant, sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- In a bowl combine basil, feta cheese, pine nuts, garlic, jalapeno pepper & lemon peel.
- Set aside.
- Prepare spaghetti/fettuccine noodles according to package directions.
- Toss pasta with olive oil, lemon juice & salt. Cover and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, prepare vegetables.
- If using leeks, trim root end & tough green leaves; halve leeks lengthwise & wash thoroughly.
- If using onions, cut into 3/4-inch slices.
- If using eggplant, peel if desired, & cut into 3/4-inch slices.
- If using zucchini, halve lengthwise.
- Brush vegetables with olive oil or cooking oil.
- Heat a nonstick or well-seasoned grill pan on stovetop over medium heat until hot.
- Add half the eggplant, onions & tomatoes to grill pan; grill about 5 minutes per side or until brown and tender.
- Repeat with remaining vegetables.
- Cut vegetables into bite-size chunks.
- On a large platter, swirl pasta with a fork to make a large nest, or divide pasta among 4 plates.
- Transfer vegetable mixture from cutting board to pasta nests.
- Sprinkle feta mixture over all.
- Makes 4 servings.
- For tabletop grill:.
- Preheat grill according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Grill leeks or onions, eggplant, and tomato slices on grill until eggplant and onion are tender and tomato is heated through.
- If using a covered grill, close lid.
- For covered grill:
- allow 5 to 6 minutes for leeks, 4 to 5 minutes for eggplant and onion & 2 to 3 minutes for tomatoes.
- For open grill:.
- allow 12 to 14 minutes for leeks, 8 to 10 minutes for eggplant, and 4 to 5 minutes for tomatoes, turning once.