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Rigatoni with Goat Cheese and Vegetables

Nearly any tube-shaped pasta, such as ziti or penne, can be served with this chunky, rustic sauce. These pastas work well because their hollows trap bits of the vegetables, so each bite carries both pasta and sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 4 summer vegetable kabobs (see related recipe at left), vegetables removed and coarsely chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 lb. rigatoni  
  • 1 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil 
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

Directions:

Prepare the vegetables
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they give off their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

Cook the pasta
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 10 minutes or according to the package instructions. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

Finish the dish
Return the pasta to its pot. Add the vegetable mixture, goat cheese and basil and toss well, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water to loosen, if needed. Cook briefly over low heat to blend the flavors, then serve, passing the Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Grilling, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2007).