Spaghetti with Garden Vegetables (Spaghetti Dell'Ortolano)

6 to 8 Serves

Rich with vegetables, this simple but satisfying starter is also suitable as a meatless entree.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped

  • 2 large celery stalks, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a large knife

  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Coarse salt

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 2 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moons

  • 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moons

  • 2 small eggplants, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Stir together the oil, carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup basil, the red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are caramelized, about 15 minutes.

  2. Add wine to saucepan. Raise heat to medium. Cook until wine has almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Add yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplants. Cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cover. Cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add marjoram and 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture and remaining 1/2 cup basil to the pasta. Toss to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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