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We’ve been dodging April showers this past week.  They’ve been more like downpours than showers at times.  The first day we had a reprieve I wanted to get outside and pop the cover off the grill.  Over the winter month’s I used the wok to cook my veggies but today I thought I would cook outside and enjoy some sunshine.  I sliced some zucchini, baby bella mushrooms and onion that tasted fantastic with a drizzle of lemon flavored olive oil, salt and pepper.  I paired the veggies with some tortellini, tomatoes and herbs to make a healthy vegetarian pasta dish.


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For grilling veggies, I like to use the thin metal grill pan with holes over an open flame.  Cooking outside is less mess and leaves your neighbors with envy from the aroma.


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Flip the onions over often.  A little char is good but they can burn fast so keep an  eye on them. These have a bit of char and are now softened.  Time for the next veggie!


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Remove the onions and layer the zucchini single file.  Drizzle with olive oil and S & P.  Again, keep an eye on them and flip them often as they begin to char slightly and soften.


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This is the first flip, they will need to go about 6 – 8 minutes total.


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I like to do the mushrooms last.  Drizzle a little olive oil, S & P and watch the magic begin.  These cook so quickly, probably 3 – 5 minutes total.


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Love Love Love grilled mushrooms!


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Veggies are ready, time for some herbs.  I have thyme, parsley and chives planted outside and they have come back to life and ready to use.  My rosemary plant died over the winter so I have a new replacement and new basil plant to go in the ground in a couple weeks.  I snipped a few stems of each of the herbs, added some garlic, a half pint of grape tomatoes I had left in the fridge and a can of fire roasted tomatoes.  The pasta I had on hand was tortellini so that’s what I went with.  S & P to taste.


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I chopped the herbs pretty fine and grated the garlic.


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I set the pasta to boil and while that’s going I’m going to work on the sauce.  I poured the can of tomatoes and grape tomatoes in my large skillet.  I turned the heat to medium and set the lid on so the grape tomatoes would cook down just enough to burst with flavor.  About 10 minutes will do it.


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Now it’s time to add some herbs and the garlic.  I added about half of my herbs to the sauce and will add the rest on top.


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When the pasta is done, add it to the tomatoes and toss.


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Now add the veggies.  I cut the onions into quarters to make it easier to eat.


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Gently stir in the veggies with the pasta and tomatoes.


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Transfer your pasta to a big bowl and add the remaining fresh herbs on top.


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And if you want, add a little grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago, or all three!  Salt and pepper to taste.


Tortellini with Grilled Veggies and Herbs

8 ounces Tortellini
1 large Sweet Onion, sliced
1 medium Zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 ounces Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced thick
8 ounces Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic, grated on a microplane grater
1 (14.5 ounce can) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Fresh Herbs of choice, I used approx 1 – 2 teaspoons each of Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Chives, and Basil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Lemon Flavored Olive Oil, if using plain olive oil spritz veggies with a wedge of lemon.

Drizzle the sliced vegetables with lemon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the onion slices on the grill and cook 3 – 4 minutes on each side, turning often so as not to burn.  When the onions soften and become slightly charred remove from grill pan and add zucchini slices in a single layer.  Again, cook 3 – 4 minutes on each side turning often until the zucchini has slightly charred around the edges and has softened.  Remove from hot grill and add mushrooms.  Turn often cooking approximately 3 – 4 minutes total.

Chop herbs of choice and grate garlic.  Heat a pot of boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet to medium and add canned tomatoes and grape or cherry tomatoes.  Place a lid on the skillet and let the tomatoes roast to almost bursting, about 10 minutes.

Add half of the herbs and all of the minced garlic to the tomatoes.  Drain the pasta and add to the tomatoes in the skillet.  Toss in the grilled vegetables, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a sprinkle of reserved fresh herbs and grated parmesan cheese.

Makes 8 servings