Friday, May 23, 2014

Recipe Rewind: Rigatoni with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Memorial Day cook-outs are all about The Meat. We know this. BBQ chicken, brats, burgers, hot dogs...We load the grill up with all of it, and we go for it

But may I suggest that, this year, you leave a tiny bit of space open for some bell peppers and onions, and make this pasta dish to go alongside all of The Meat? I promise you won't be sorry.

I first made this pasta years ago, and it was long overdue for a reappearance here. This is one dish that's every bit as delicious as it is gorgeous. It's hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian main dish, but it's also a perfect side dish. The flavor of the grilled peppers and onions, especially in combination with the basil, is just fantastic. 

This is perfect summer food: It's healthy, simple, and oh-so-satisfying.

Rigatoni with Grilled Peppers and Onions
from Real Simple
2 medium red onions, sliced into rings
2 large sweet bell peppers, cut into quarters
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
12 ounces (4 to 5 cups) rigatoni
1 bunch spinach, stems trimmed, or one 5-ounce package
1 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
3/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, toss the onions, bell peppers, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.

2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return the pasta to the pot. Add the grilled vegetables, spinach, the reserved pasta water, and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine. Top with the basil and the remaining Parmesan before serving.