Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
This pasta dish is one of our favorite choices for a meatless meal. It's a simple combination of pasta, fresh tomatoes and vegetables like eggplant, zucchini and red bell pepper tossed with olive oil and garlic and roasted in a hot oven to bring out their natural flavors and sweetness. Topped with a sprinkling of grated cheese just before serving, this dish is not only satisfying and easy to make, it's versatile in that it can be adapted to accommodate a variety of seasonal produce.
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
- 10 ounces pasta (cavatappi, rotini, penne)
- 2 small eggplants (about 1-1/2 lbs total)
- 2 small zucchini (about 3/4 lb total)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 sweet onion, cut into eighths and separated
- 1/2 lb cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (about 3/4 ounce)
- Parmesan cheese for grating
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or coat them with nonstick spray.
Peel the eggplant, cut it lengthwise into eight pieces, then crosswise into 1-inch chunks. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, then cut it crosswise into 1-inch chunks. Set aside with the red bell pepper, onion and tomatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Place the eggplant in large mixing bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil mixture. Toss to coat and spread the eggplant in a single layer on one of the prepared baking pans. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and very lightly browned.
Place the zucchini, red bell pepper and onion in the mixing bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil mixture, toss to coat and spread in a single layer on the second baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and lightly browned.
When the vegetables have about 5 minutes of roasting time left, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and leave the pasta in the colander.
Return the pasta pot to the stove over medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook just long enough for the tomatoes to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the pasta and chopped basil.
Stir in the roasted vegetables and toss to combine. Add a little extra olive oil if desired, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Plate individual servings and top with freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan.
Makes 4 servings
Just about any vegetable that lends itself to high-heat roasting can be used in this dish. Good candidates include green bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and portobello mushrooms.
You can also experiment by swapping out the basil for fresh parsley and adding small amounts (about 1 tablespoon) of fresh chives or oregano.