Vegetable or canola oil, for grilling
1 pound penne pasta
2 pints grape tomatoes
1/3 cup good-quality, fruity olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium (about 6 to 8 inches) eggplant
2 medium red onions, peeled
2 medium zucchini
1 large red pepper
1/2 teaspoon favorite salt-free all-purpose seasoning
1 (7- to 8-ounce) container cherry- or pearl-sized fresh mozzarella, drained
1/3 cup fresh sliced basil or oregano leaves, for garnish
Preheat grill to medium-high. When grill is hot, oil grates.
While grill heats up, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and keep warm.
Place the tomatoes on a double piece of foil. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Enclose tomatoes in foil and place on grill.
Using a serrated knife, cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Slice the onion into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut the red pepper into eighths. Place all vegetables on a sided baking sheet. Brush both sides of vegetables with remaining olive oil (using more if needed), sprinkle with remaining salt, black pepper and the salt-free seasoning.
Place vegetables on grill and grill for about 5 minutes on each side or until tender with nice grill marks on each side. If some cook faster than others, move them to a cooler part of grill. Grape tomatoes should have burst open in foil, becoming juicy.
Remove vegetables from grill. Cut the eggplant, zucchini and red pepper into 1-inch pieces. Separate onion into rings.
In a large serving bowl, toss hot pasta with vegetables. Add tomatoes with juices; toss to coat. If too dry, drizzle with some reserved pasta water or a bit more olive oil. Add the mozzarella and toss again. Serve garnished with the herbs.
Makes 6 servings.