Penne pasta with grilled sweet peppers, grilled onions, and basil

When I see bushels of bright red, yellow, and orange peppers at the farmers’ market, I can’t resist. While one of each color looks good, two seem even better. I start thinking of a dinner menu that marries a mixed grill of olive oil–brushed vegetables with grilled chicken, chops, or steaks. But then I think about the possibilities for the extras. Grilling a couple of extra peppers and a sweet onion is the makings of an easy weeknight meal—this pasta dish!


Serves 4


Kosher or sea salt
1 pound penne pasta
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper halved, seeded, deribbed, grilled, and chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper halved, seeded, deribbed, grilled, and chopped
1 large Walla Walla or other sweet onion cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, grilled, and chopped
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes halved
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Fill an 8- to 10-quart stockpot two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water, then add the pasta. Stir and cook the pasta until al dente (cooked through but still slightly chewy), about 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the grilled peppers and onion and the cherry tomatoes. Stir gently until just heated through.

Drain the pasta and place it in a warmed serving bowl. Add the vegetables and all of the oil from the skillet and toss to combine. Sprinkle the parsley and basil over the top, season with salt and pepper, and again toss gently to combine. Garnish with the cheese and serve immediately.