Penne Ortolano


The freshness and brilliance of the vegetable garden come together with extra-virgin olive oil in a vibrant pasta dish developed by Giuseppe Castellano of Luzzo's restaurant in New York City.


  • Coarse salt

  • 3 cups penne pasta

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed

  • ½ small eggplant (about ½ cup), cut into 2-inch-by-½-inch strips

  • ¼ small zucchini (about ½ cup), cut into 2-inch-by-½-inch strips

  • ¼ yellow bell pepper (about ½ cup), cored, seeded, and cut into 2-inch-by-½-inch strips

  • 1 sprig fresh basil, leaves removed and torn into small pieces

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add penne. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden. Add eggplant and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add peppers and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add half the basil; season with a pinch of salt. Stir in tomatoes, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add cooked penne and enough reserved cooking water to loosen the mixture slightly. Toss to combine. Stir in remaining basil. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt. Divide evenly between two serving plates; serve immediately with cheese, if desired.

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