Fusilli with Mixed Vegetable Sauce

September/October 1995

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A fresh vegetable sauce, here full of eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini and tomatoes, is a nice alternative to everyday marinara sauce. We like the way the sauce slips into fusilli's corkscrew-like grooves.

Fusilli with Mixed Vegetable Sauce Recipe

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 ounce pancetta, (Italian bacon) or country ham, very finely chopped
  • 8 ounces eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 small eggplant)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into1/4-inch dice
  • 8 ounces zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (about 12 tomatoes, see Tip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound whole-wheat fusilli
  • 2 ounces freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, (2/3 cup)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add pancetta (or ham) and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, then add eggplant, bell peppers and zucchini. Season with salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes collapse and begin to form a sauce, about 10 minutes. Pour in water, cover, reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Check occasionally, adding a little more water if needed to achieve a saucelike consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, cook fusilli in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a warm bowl. Add the sauce and cheese and toss well. Serve immediately on warm plates.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To peel and seed tomatoes:
  • 1. Before you start, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Using a sharp paring knife, core the tomatoes and score a small “X” into the flesh on the bottom.
  • 2. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water, in batches, until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • 3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice water and let sit in the water for 1 minute before removing.
  • 4. Peel the tomatoes using a paring knife. Halve them crosswise and scoop out the seeds with a hooked finger.


Per serving: 377 calories; 6 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 13 mg cholesterol; 69 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 11 g fiber; 343 mg sodium; 626 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (90% daily value), Vitamin A (40% dv), Potassium (18% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 4

Exchanges: 4 starch, 3 vegetable, 1 fat

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Recipe Categories

Preparation/ Technique

Type of Dish
Main dish, meat
Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
Low sodium
High fiber
High potassium
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less

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