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.
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.
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.