Roasted Vegetable Pasta ("Primavera"!)
Well, it is almost spring, time for my version of pasta primavera.
Last year I sauteed asparagus with pancetta and garnished with mint.....it was heavenly.
The year before, I roasted zucchini, peppers, carrots and tomatoes for a delicious rendition.
But 2012's version takes the prize! I was inspired by Marie's version that she makes for a crowd, using all winter vegetables, since that is what is available to us right now.
The sauce comes from the juices of the tomatoes that are roasted with a lot of olive oil and kosher salt along with a good douse of balsamic vinegar. I promise it will be moist and delicious. It is best warm, but equally as good at room temp.
I have not tried to heat this up again the next day, but Marie suggests warming it in the oven, covered with foil and adding some more olive oil to spruce it up.
You can use whatever vegetable you like. Marie uses artichokes, green beans, eggplant and other goodies. I happen to have cauliflower and brussels sprouts on hand, so opted for what was in the fridge.
Here is the shopping list: (makes enough for 8 people)
Roasted Vegetable Pasta:
1 basket red cherry or grape tomatoes
1 basket yellow grape tomatoes
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 package of brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1 red onion, cut into small chunks
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
6 cloves garlic
Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 box of large shells (pasta)
1 cup of frozen peas
handful of chopped fresh basil for garnish
Preheat oven to 425F.
Line 2 roasting pans with foil for easier cleanup.
Lay the tomatoes, peppers and garlic together on one pan.
The cut up cauliflower florets, red onion and brussels sprouts on the other.
Drizzle both pans liberally with olive oil and kosher salt.
Douse (yes, like gasoline) the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar. This will make a nice syrupy sauce to coat the pasta.
Roast both pans at the same time. Both pans usually take about 30 minutes. If you see the cauliflower and sprouts getting too dark, take them out first. The tomatoes should be charred and have a nice amount of liquid in the pan.
Carefully remove the garlic cloves from the tomato pan and set aside.
Pour the contents of each pan into a large bowl with all the juices.
Slip the skins off of the garlic (they come right off) and chop up the roasted garlic. Add to the vegetable mixture.
Cook your pasta as per directions. The last 2 minutes of the cooking time, add the frozen peas to the pasta water. Drain in a colander.
Pour the hot pasta and peas in with the vegetables and give a good stir until the shells are coated with the sauce.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of Pecorino cheese in with a handful of basil and mix.
Let sit a few minutes and serve.