I used a gluten-free red lentil penne pasta here (but you could easily substitute regular smaller penne) ~ tossed with a store-bought OLIVE SALAD, which had cubes of MOZZARELLA CHEESE, plus herbs. I planned ahead and had my husband grill some veggies the night before (when he was making dinner on the BBQ), but you easily roast them in the oven instead. A FAST & EASY main dish salad
ROASTED VEGETABLE & OLIVE PASTA SALAD 7-8 oz. package gluten free smaller, shaped pasta ~ cooked per package, drained 1 eggplant (leave peel on, cut into about 1/2" thick slices ~ preparation below) about 2-3 small (or 1-2 larger) zucchini and/or yellow crookneck squash (preparation below) store-bought container of mixed olive salad w/ MOZZARELLA CHEESE (about 3/4 to 1 cup) about 1/2 cup sliced (or diced) salami 2-4 Roma tomatoes ~ cut into quarters, then cut those into 2 or 3 pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 cup pepperoncini (sliced) ~or~ jalapeno peppers (sliced) ~ in a jar (they're softer then) FRESH HERBS (if possible ~ if dried, then crush the leaves & use half as much) oregano ~ basil ~ rosemary VINAIGRETTE DRESSING (homemade or store-bought) (I love this Garlic Basil Vinaigrette, that I found. I think a "clear" vinaigrette is better here than one with a color.) *** EGGPLANT: Leaving peel on, cut into about 1/2" slices. I lay them on paper towels ~ then spray both sides with non-stick olive oil cooking spray (you can use actual olive oil, but the spray is negligible calories). Sprinkle with Kosher or Himalayan pink salt and some of the fresh herbs. Put some paper towels on top and let them sit about 5-10 minutes so the natural water drains out. Then pat them dry. You can now either grill them on your BBQ ~ or roast in your oven @ 400 to 425 for about 20 minutes, on each side. ** SUMMER SQUASH : Cut the zucchini or crookneck squash in half lengthwise, and also spray with the olive oil spray ~ same salt & herbs ~ grill on the BBQ until it's charred (or roast in the oven. ** To add to this salad ~ cut both the eggplant and squash into about 1/2" cubes
ASSEMBLY: I put about 1/2 cup of the salad dressing plus my chopped fresh herbs into a large bowl. When the pasta is cooked and drained, I put the hot pasta into bowl and tossed to coat it well with the dressing.
While the pasta was cooking, I put the rest of the ingredients (including the oil w/herbs in the olive salad) into a medium bowl with about 1/4 cup of the salad dressing ~ and tossed to coat everything evenly.
Then, after I tossed the hot pasta in the dressing ~ I added the rest of the ingredients that had been combined in the medium bowl into the pasta and tossed it well (I use a rubber scraper, so I don't break the pasta). Garnish with some whole sprigs of the fresh herbs.