Pasta with vegetables may seem ho-hum, but don't underestimate the deliciousness of this dish. Roasting the vegetables really brings out their flavor in a sweet caramelized way and the fact that it's basically sauceless makes this a pretty healthy vegetarian meal. Perfect for a warm weather dinner when we start to crave lighter fresher flavors.
In addition to the fact that this is pretty easy to throw together, I also love that it's a very flexible and forgiving dish. What I mean is that you can use pretty much any vegetable you like and it will taste amazing. Here I used carrots, zucchini, summer squash, sweet peppers and tomatoes, but you could easily leave any of those out and substitute with broccoli, cauliflower, peas--any veggie that would roast well. And this is just as good cold as it is hot, so leftovers are definitely a bonus!!
After you've cut up all your veggies, you toss them with some olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper and roast them for about 20 minutes or so. You can do this early in the day if you like and then just have them all ready to go once you cook the pasta.
However you decide to go, you toss the pasta with the roasted vegetables, about a cup of the pasta water, the tomatoes and some parmesan cheese. Each bite is like a little flavor explosion--so many different tastes and textures going on--springtime for your mouth!!
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Primavera
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 30-35 minutes
5 carrots, peeled and cut into thin, 2 inch strips
2 medium zucchini, cut into thin 1 inch rounds
2 yellow summer squash, cut into thin 1 inch rounds
1 yellow or orange pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin 2 inch strips
1 red pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin 2 inch strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound dried farfalle pasta (or any kind you like)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a large bowl, toss carrots, zucchini, squash peppers, onion with the oil, parsley, garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper. Transfer between 2 large rimmed baking sheets, arranging vegetables in an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes, then stir and roast for another 10 minutes. Carrots should be tender and other vegetables should be starting to get brown. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
2. While vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the rest of the pasta. Add pasta and half of the cooking liquid to the roasted vegetables in the bowl and mix well. Add the tomatoes in and stir. If pasta seems dry add more of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.
3. Pasta also tastes great as a cold pasta salad. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: Recipe adapted from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis. I increased the amount of carrots, added fresh parsley, omitted the herbes de Provence and added a bit of garlic powder instead, cut the amount of pepper and increased the amount of cheese from 3/4 to 1 cup.