Grilled veggies make an excellent basis for light and healthy pasta salads, perfect side for any BBQ party or picnic. You can serve them warm or on room temperature.
In this recipe I just combined the vegetables that are in the season at the moment. It is always the best to pick whatever is naturally fresh in your country. In summer this is not a hard guideline to follow because markets are flooded by the fresh fruits and vegetables from the countryside (or your own garden if you are lucky enough). So enjoy this summery light pasta salad with tender courgette, aubergine and green beans while it is fresh on the market!
- 1 small courgette
- 1 small aubergine
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 3 garlic (minced)
- 250g green beans
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- handful of chopped oregano
- 2 chicken leg (both the drumstick and upper joint)
- 120g soft goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt (to cook the pasta)
- 300 gram conchigliette (pasta shells)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of basil leaves
- freshly grated pepper
Preheat the over to 220 °C and prepare a casserole dish (about 26 cm if round, the vegetables should fit in it on top of each other). Wash and cut off the ends of the courgette and aubergine, cut lengthwise and cut up in 1 cm thick slices. Cut off the ends of the beans and cut them in half. Put all the vegetables in the casserole dish, season with pepper and oregano and sprinkle with 2 talbespoons olive oil (it does not matter if the vegetables touch each other) cover with aluminium foil, bake on 220 °C for 20 minutes then set the temperature lower and bake for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile cut the chicken legs in half at the joints (no need to skin them, the skin has a lot of flavours and we are going to fry it crispy, if you prefer to leave it out it is still better to take it off after frying) season pepper and a pinch of salt. Heat up 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick skillet and fry the legs for 14 minutes 7-7 minutes for both sides. While frying you can push them down with a wooden spoon to make the skin fry crunchier). Take out the bones and joints and cut the meat in bite size pieces.
Cook the pasta al dente according the packaging. When the vegetables are ready heat up the same skillet (the frying oil of the chicken is full of taste) add vegetables, chicken, pasta and 2/3 of the goat cheese. If there is some cooking water of the vegetables add that as well, if it looks dry add some of the pastas cooking water. In the end squeeze in the lemon and serve with the fresh basil leaves and the rest of the goatcheese crumbled on top.
You can serve it warm or room temperature, it makes an excellent dinner for the hot summer nights or a tasty lunch-in-a-jar to take with you.