grilled vegetable pasta salad

this was yummy.  obviously (or i wouldn't be posting it).  i actually made this earlier in the week but after a dramatic experience involving a bird and our grill, i hadn't been in the mood to post the recipe until now.  this is one of three pasta salads i made this week.  all of which are perfect for summer bbq's.  i'll post the other two later.

two things; 1) i've fallen in love with tomatoes roasted with garlic and 2) i added a few grilled chicken breasts to this dish to make it more of a meal.

grilled vegetable pasta salad
1 pint grape tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium green bell pepper
1 small eggplant
1 medium red onion
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
14 oz pasta (i used cavatappi)
1 cup balsamic vinegar (i used newman's light which was good but next time, i'm going to make my own for the fun of it)
salt & pepper to taste
parmesan cheese (enough to sprinkle on top)

STEP 1: If using roasted tomatoes, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour the tomatoes out onto a baking sheet with 5 cloves of peeled garlic. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of olive oil over them along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands, stir it all up to make sure the tomatoes and garlic are well coated in the oil, salt and pepper. Place them in the oven to roast for about 40 minutes. Stir them twice during the roasting process.

STEP 2: Light the grill or charcoal and allow to heat while you prep the vegetables. Wash and slice the rest of the vegetables. Only slice them into two or three large chunks so they do not fall into the grill (see photo below). I cut the squash, onion and bell pepper into two pieces each and the eggplant into medallions about 1 inch thick.

STEP 3: Place the sliced vegetables onto another baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining 3 Tbsp of olive oil and another pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands mix them all up until they are all well coated in the oil. The eggplant will soak the oil up like a sponge so to make sure it is coated you can wipe it on the tray where oil has dripped off of the other vegetables.

STEP 4: Grill the vegetables until they are slightly charred on the outside and slightly soft but not mushy (see photos below). Return them to the tray and allow them to cool.

STEP 5: While the vegetables are cooling, begin boiling the pasta according to the directions on the box. While the pasta is boiling, chop the grilled vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces. Coarsely chop about 1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley.

STEP 6: After the pasta has been cooked and drained, allow it to cool slightly. Combine the chopped vegetables, parsley, pasta and 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette. Stir until everything is evenly coated with the vinaigrette. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

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