Broiled vegetables are delicious with chunky pasta in a tangy dressing. Serve this rustic broiled vegetable and rigatoni salad as a light lunch or as an accompaniment to broiled poultry or meat, when it will serve 6 or 8 people.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Cook the rigatoni in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold running water, then drain again thoroughly and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, broil the pepper halves, skin side up, until blistered and blackened. Place in a plastic bag, then leave until cool enough to handle.
Broil the onion and eggplant for about 2 minutes or until slightly charred. Turn them over so that they cook evenly. Add the zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes to the broiler, and broil all the vegetables for a further 2–3 minutes. Remove the pieces as they are ready. Place them in a large salad bowl.
Cut the eggplant slices into 2 cm strips. Peel the pepper and cut into 2 cm strips. Add the eggplant and pepper strips to the salad bowl, with the arugula. Mix in the rigatoni.
Mix the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice with the olive oil, basil, capers, garlic, if using, and pepper in a small bowl. Lightly toss this dressing into the broiled vegetable and rigatoni salad. Sprinkle with shavings of Parmesan cheese and serve.
Per serving: 356 calories, 13 g protein, 18 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 36 g total carbohydrate, 7 g sugars, 8 g fibre, 160 mg sodium
Broiling or baking is a healthy cooking method for vegetables like eggplants, which can absorb large amounts of fat when they are fried. Adding a little Parmesan cheese to pasta dishes contributes useful calcium as well as a wonderful cheesy flavour.