Cooking With Nick : Penne Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

While Nick had the barbeque going the other day he popped on an extra scotch bonnet pepper and some ‘shrooms, even if we weren’t going to use them right away.

Those precooked veggies made their way into our lunch today.  I will eat pretty much whatever is being served, however am particularly pleased when pasta is on the menu for lunch!

His method for cooking this type of pasta dish is to saute sliced onions with chopped garlic in olive oil.  Then add the grilled vegetables, some chopped green olives, and a ladle-full of tomato sauce (homemade or canned).  For additional seasoning, he adds fresh herbs right at the end.  Today he added basil, oregano and parsley.  While he’s making the sauce, he cooks the noodles (penne or rotini).  To serve, he mixes the sauce with the drained pasta, plates up individual servings, and tops with a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.  Total prep time is about 15 minutes.

At the table, we add our own fresh ground pepper corns and a sprinkle of salt.

Since healthy eating warns against using too much salt, we make sure any salt added at the table really enhances the taste of the food. Like chocolate, if you’re going to eat it, you might as well make sure it’s worth it!

While it is true that all salt has the same sodium content so none is more healthy than the other, if it adds more flavour per serving, I would think that you would use less of it, right?  Here is a lovely one that we really like, called Cassina Rosa Truffle and Salt.  The unique  aroma and taste of the added truffle definitely comes through.  We first bought it as a gift for someone and they raved about it, so we got some for ourselves.  It is available online or if you’re in Toronto, we got ours at The Spice Trader at 877 Queen Street West.

And using this type of salt allows me to use my ever-do-cute teeny tiny antique silver salt spoon!

[Hey Mister … Nice ladder in the kitchen, and I love your plywood counter-top. Would you call that ‘Shabby Chic’? Needless to say, kitchen renovation in progress!]