1 cup broccoli florets
2 cups asparagus pieces
1 cup slivered snow peas (or sugar snaps)
½ cup slivered carrots
1 cup slivered zucchini
1 small eggplant, diced into ½ to ¾ inch pieces
3 large crushed garlic cloves
20 - 24 ripe plum tomatoes (4 cups chopped)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 to 2 cups good green olive oil as needed
1 packed cup of shredded basil
½ cup pine nuts
1 ½ lbs. pasta of choice*
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1. Place the eggplant on a shallow roasting pan and roast in a 300◦ oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. Steam the broccoli, carrots and asparagus lightly. Saving the water, drain vegetables well and put aside.
3. Heat the reserved vegetable water, adding water if necessary, and heat to a boil.
4. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen skin. Save the water again.
5. Peel and coarsely chop the tomatoes, retaining as much of the moisture as possible. (It is possible to place the whole peeled tomatoes in a bowl and chop them with a pair of kitchen shears. It's easier and it keeps more of the liquid too.)
6. Add garlic, basil, olive oil, pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the tomato mixture. Mix well. Add the juice of one lemon and mix again. Set aside
7. Cook pasta in the same water that steamed the veggies and blanched the tomatoes. Drain well. (Now you can throw out the water.)
8. Remove the crushed garlic cloves from the tomato mixture.
9. Add all vegetables, cooked and uncooked, to the tomato mixture and toss together. Reserving ¼ of the sauce, mix balance with the pasta in a large, comfortable bowl.
10. Pour remaining sauce on top of the pasta, sprinkle with pine nuts and serve with the grated cheese on the side as desired.
* Rotini or medium sized shells are good for this dish because they trap little bits of sauce.
NOTE: Almost any vegetable with do in this dish, and the more crunch the better