Grilled-Vegetable Pasta with Cumin

Grilling is just fun. Friends and family coming together to assemble a feast around the fire. Uruguay is famous for its 'asados,' real grilled meat extravaganzas with prime cuts, sausages, provoleta cheese, and whatnot. Although beef is definitely the star of the show, you must always consider your side dishes.

An authentic grilling experience is all about meat complemented by tasty supporting actors. Today, we're making a colorful and steamy grilled vegetable pasta with cumin, a grilled side dish that could very well steal the spotlight.

Juicy charred eggplants, bright green zucchini, and red bell peppers will add to this salad color, texture, and flavor. Olive oil and lemons will take care of the mouthfeel and brightness of the dish, and a good pasta 'al dente' will bring everything together.

There's another key ingredient, though, ground cumin. A teaspoon of the aromatic and exotic spice will infuse our pasta salad with the most charming and enticing aromatics making it unforgettable. This is a perfect side dish for summer grilling parties, one pasta salad to rule them all.

What's most important, we're making good use of the already incandescent burning embers in our grill to infuse our veggies with char, smoke, and unmistakable heartiness.

Incredibly versatile, this grilled vegetable pasta with cumin goes great not only with grilled meat but also with a chilled glass of Pinot Noir rosé wine, so get a bottle or two, you’ll love the pairing.

Let's light up that grill and get started because neither salads nor pasta dishes had ever been so exciting. Let's get started!

Cuisine: Vegan
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 pound penne rigate
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Light the grill.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the oil, with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Grill the veggies above in batches, turning the vegetables once until they are tender and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove from the grill and cut the vegetables into coarse pieces.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, cumin, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook the penne rigate in a pot of salted, boiling water until soft but firm (al dente). Drain the penne reserve.
  7. Add the olive oil and lemon to the pasta and incorporate the grilled vegetables. Top with Parmesan cheese to taste and serve.