The signature flavors of summer grilled vegetables and Sweet Italian Sausage combine for a simple, full-flavored pasta dish everyone will love! Whether making Rustic Grilled Vegetable and Sausage Pasta with newly grilled or leftover grilled vegetables, it’s an easy summer recipe you’ll want to make regularly!
Can you keep a secret? I’d love to tell you I developed this recipe from a completely clean slate with full cognizance of my plan. I’d be fibbing. I do find sometimes the best recipes are created out of unconscious serendipity and such is the case for this delicious Grilled Vegetable & Sausage Pasta recipe.
When I first created this we had a friend visit us for the July 4th weekend. It was an action packed visit embedding into the Boulder lifestyle including off beat tours, restaurant visits for meals out, shopping, movie-going, walks and of course cooking and grilling at home.
For one of our meals my husband grilled marinated chicken breasts and vegetables despite being still full from the Spicy Green Papaya Salad I’d made for lunch (as well as some freshly made Sesame Balls we’d picked up at my favorite local Asian grocery store). We nibbled away at dinner and the rest was relegated to leftovers.
When I was next making dinner, the grilled vegetables begged to be incorporated into a dish. I love grilled vegetables, especially onions. I love the caramelization and smoky flavors that wrap around the fresh seasonal flavors. It had been a very busy, hot day with a lot of pool time that had turned chilly, and rainy.
Pasta sounded good to all, which is when I decided to incorporate the vegetables into the sauce base. A simple whirl in the food processor and they were married with Marinara and other seasonings to become a full-flavored sauce.
At the time, part of the method to my madness was to creep below the kid radar with my recipe. My kids did eat vegetables but somehow I was unsure on how they’d take to pulverized grilled vegetables in the sauce. They were none the wiser and heartily ate multiple portions.
Now I will gladly grill vegetables purposely to make this sauce. The grilling adds a depth of flavor regular vegetables lack making this a summery dish and simple to make as well (my favorite kind!).
The addition of smoky, grilled vegetables creates a more layered flavoring of the pasta sauce without demanding much extra work. It's a simple dish that will satisfy all!
- 4 teaspoons (plus extra for brushing vegetables) Olive Oil
- 1 medium White Onion, sliced in ½ inch slices
- 1 medium Red Onion, sliced in ½ inch slices
- 1 medium Zucchini (approximately 8 inches long, 2 inches diameter), sliced in ½ inch slices
- 1 pound loose Sweet Italian Sausage
- 32 ounces Marinara Sauce
- ¼ cup Red Wine
- 1 package Pasta (Elbow, Penne or Fusilli); gluten-free or regular*
- Heat grill to 350 degrees. When hot brush grill clean. Brush both sides of vegetables with olive oil. Grill until each side had grill marks and the vegetables are cooked (about 5-7 minutes). Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Bring water for pasta to a boil and cook pasta per package instructions. Proceed with the sauce recipe; draining and rinsing (if package calls for) pasta when finished cooking. Toss with 2 teaspoons-1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Place grilled vegetables in a food processor and pulse into a thick, rustic puree.
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Once heated add the crumbled sausage and cook until browned. Add pureed vegetables and red wine. Stir frequently until the red wine has evaporated and been absorbed.
- Add the marinara sauce; still to combine. Lower heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. When done, mix into pasta or serve on top of the pasta as preferred.
*I used Tinkyada gluten-free Elbow pasta as shown here.