08/22/2012 12:42 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT

For a Mediterranean-style dish, toss pasta with grilled veggies and cheese

Let grilled vegetables and pasta give your lunch or dinner an Italian flavour, with the classical overtones of cheddar cheese.

Mediterranean Pasta

1 each red and yellow sweet bell pepper

2 zucchini

1/2 Spanish onion

500 g (1 lb) penne or rotini

250 g (8 oz) old cheddar cheese, cubed (divided)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Balsamic Vinaigrette

85 ml (1/3 cup plus 2 tsp) vegetable oil

75 ml (1/3 cup) balsamic vinegar

10 ml (2 tsp) Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ml (1/4 tsp) sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette: In a screw-top jar, mix all ingredients. Cover and shake well. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 150 ml (2/3 cup).

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. Chill, if desired.

Remove cores and cut peppers into quarters. Cut zucchini and onion into 2-cm (3/4-inch) slices. Brush vegetables lightly with some of the vinaigrette and grill over medium heat until vegetables are cooked as desired.

Cut all vegetables into chunks. Combine vegetables, pasta and all but 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the cheese with remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Top with reserved cheese and parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 880 calories; 33 g protein; 98 g carbohydrate; 40 fat; 6.1 g fibre; 414 mg sodium.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada.