Who says vegetables have to look perfect to still be used for cooking? At Save the Food they encourage us to use those weird looking veggies! 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for finishing
1 small eggplant, cut into 2” pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 2” pieces
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½-1 fresh chili, thinly sliced (depending on how spicy you like it!)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ pound (8 ounces) short-cut pasta
1 handful tender herbs, such as basil, mint and/or parsley, tender stems minced, leaves torn or left whole
½ cup coarsely grated ricotta salata (or pecorino, feta, or Parmesan)
Zest of 1 lemon

Brown the vegetables: Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and zucchini and cook until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season well with salt.

Make the spicy garlic oil: Add garlic and chili and remaining oil and cook until fragrant, another couple minutes.

Cook tomatoes: Add tomatoes and cook until they start to release their liquid when pressed with the back of a spoon, about 5 more minutes.

Cook the pasta: Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water 2 minutes less than package instructions, about 7 minutes. You still want it to have a bite.

Finish pasta: Drain pasta, saving about ½ cup cooking water. Add pasta to skillet, adding pasta water a few tablespoons at at time and tossing to coat. Garnish with herbs, cheese, lemon zest and drizzle of olive oil.

Community Food Bank’s mission is to provide food, nutritional education and advocacy for our neighbors in need within San Benito County.


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