Cook’s Note: I think you get the picture with this easy whole wheat pasta recipe, that basically anything goes when it comes to which veggies to include. Indeed, the more the merrier…and healthier. You can use your imagination and take a cue from what is available in your region by season.
20 min
1 h 20 min


  • 15 large button mushrooms stems removed and set aside
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom powder or 5 – 7 dried porcini mushrooms ground to a powder in a spice grinder
  • 4 – 5 fresh or dried thyme sprigs
  • 4 – 6 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 10 plum tomatoes halved
  • 2 large red onions
  • 3 green or red or yellow bell peppers seeded
  • 1 large zucchini trimmed
  • 1 small carrot pared and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1 cup string beans trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small eggplant trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic head halved across the width
  • ½ - 2/3 cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • 10 – 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound whole-wheat fusilli
  • 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Add 6 cups water and a few thyme and fresh oregano sprigs. Simmer, covered, for one hour, covered. Use a slotted spoon and strain out the solids.
  2. Halve the tomatoes and cut the remaining vegetables as indicated in ingredients list. Halve the mushroom caps if large. Cut the onions in quarters.
  3. Gently toss all the vegetables, garlic halves and mushrooms with about half a cup of the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Heat a grill pan or stove top griddle over medium flame, lightly oil it and place the vegetables and mushrooms in the pan, in batches if necessary, until al dente, tender enough to eat and slightly and pleasantly charred.
  5. Add enough water to the mushroom liquid to suffice for boiling the pasta. Bring the liquid to a boil, season it with salt, and boil the pasta.
  6. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the boiling liquid. Remove the vegetables from the griddle as they are ready, nicely charred and tender. Toss with the pasta and vegetables all together. Open and squeeze out the garlic pulp. Drizzle in additional olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, basil leaves and a little of the mushroom cooking liquid. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired, and serve.

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