Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad with Sausage
I spent the 4th weekend at one of the most magical spots on earth, my Grandfather's home in the northern woods of Wisconsin. There are some essential culinary experiences one must have while in this part of the world: Bratwurst with a tall, cold Leinenkugel, Grandpa's pancakes, Gayle's Raspberry Dojun, and Friday fish fry at any of the local lakefront spots. It was an unseasonably balmy weekend so we spent some quality time cooking on the grill. We made, as usual, too many Brats. This recipe is a scrumptous use of extra grilled bits and is a flavorful, light lunch or a great side with a steak.
GRILLED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD WITH SAUSAGE
(Yield 8 servings)
1 lb. whole wheat fusilli pasta
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 head garlic, peeled and roasted with olive oil
1 Vidalia Onion, quartered and grilled
2 medium yellow squash, cut into quarters lengthwise, grilled
2 zucchini squash, cut into quarters, grilled
8 oz cremini mushrooms, grilled
8 small plum tomatoes, grilled
1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme
4 ounces feta, crumbled
2 cups of diced, grilled sausages (like bratwurst)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cups chopped basil
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve a quarter cup of the cooking water and drain. Transfer pasta to a large boil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Chop all cooled, grilled vegetables into 1 inch pieces. Mix in with pasta, feta, roasted garlic cloves and sausage.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the lemon juice with the lemon zest, chopped garlic, olive oil, and cooking water. Wisk to blend and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add ¼ cup of the dressing to the pasta and vegetable mixture, add half the basil and toss. Taste and add more dressing, salt and pepper, if necessary.
5. Top with remaining basil, and fresh ground black pepper, and serve.