From the Andrea’s Cooktales cookbook, this recipe was inspired by a trip to the farmers market. It can be made with various veggies, making it versatile and easy to throw together. It’s the perfect lunch to make at home after spending a morning at the market. It’s also been called “the best pasta ever” on multiple occasions.

4 to 6 servings


4 slices of thick-cut bacon – chopped into thin strips
3 pounds fresh veggies (such as eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomatoes) – cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves – minced
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb penne (or any bite-sized pasta)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more to garnish

½ lemon – juiced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 450F. Fry the bacon, drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set the grease aside. Spread the cubed veggies on a baking sheet. Toss them with bacon grease, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and tender. While the veggies roast, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions, or until al dente.

In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Spoon the cooked pasta directly into a serving bowl with a couple tablespoons of pasta water. Add the bacon, Parmesan, roasted veggies with their juices, and the dressing. Toss together to combine. Top with extra Parmesan and chopped basil.

By Andrea LeTard