“Deconstructed pasta” – grilled zucchini and eggplant with blistered heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella

I had a lot of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant from the garden and wanted to make a pasta. Sometimes the vegetables get lost in the sauce if you just mix everything together, so I wanted to make something where the vegetables really stood out. My friend Lauren told me about a meal from Plated that she just made where you grill zucchini and top it with a bolognese sauce. That was great inspiration so I decided to make my own version. I call it a deconstructed pasta, because has the components of pasta, but they are layered instead of mixed together. It consists of a layer of pasta, then grilled vegetables, then blistered tomatoes, topped with tomato sauce and herbs. I made it with pasta, but this dish can definitely be made without it for a low-carb version. You could also put meat in the tomato sauce if you wanted.

I was very happy with how this dish turned out and anticipate making it again.


“Deconstructed pasta” – grilled zucchini and eggplant with blistered heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella

Preptime: 20 minutes 
Cooktime: 20 minutes 
Serves: 4 

For the grilled zucchini and eggplant:

3 small to medium zucchini
1 eggplant or 2 Japanese eggplant
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the blistered tomatoes:

3 cloves garlic
1 pint mixed heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:

Olive oil
1 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce
2 tsp Italian seasoning or dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 tsp honey

1 box fusilli pasta (or farfalle or penne)

Handful basil, shredded
Fresh buffalo mozzarella
Grated parmesan cheese

Heat up a gas grill. Cut the zucchini in half length-wise and then in half again. If using Japanese eggplant, do the same as the zucchini. If using a regular eggplant, cut in slices length-wise about 1/4 inch thick. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill, about 3-4 minutes on each side or until soft but not mushy. Remove and set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet or a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes whole to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, letting the tomatoes get blistered, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

To make the sauce, heat some olive oil in a deep skillet or pot and add the onion. Cook for about 7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Add the can of tomato sauce, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper and honey. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water. Strain when al-dente, return to the pot and toss with a small amount of olive oil.

To assemble, put pasta in a bowl or on a large plate. Place a few slices of zucchini and eggplant on top, followed by the blistered tomatoes. Top with some sauce, basil and a slice or small ball of buffalo mozzarella. Grate parmesan cheese on top.


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