Anyone who knows me will gleefully peg me as LAZY. (I can almost see a set of parents vigorously shaking their heads!) Hence I’m always on the lookout for any meal that requires minimum effort to put together but is big on flavor. The beauty of my roasted veggie dish is that it translates to not just one meal but can easily be transformed to a wrap, sandwich or even a salad with ease.
Perfect for a lazy weekend meal or a healthy dinner, my roasted vegetable pasta will soon become a favorite. As the vegetables roast, they transform from ordinary to flavorful explosions of taste… the sweetness of the caramelized onions contrasting with the bite of the red pepper, to the golden roast on the potatoes… the only thing that can make this dish taste even better is eating it off my famous or infamous bunny bowl!
Yes…It's a plastic fork but we'll just ignore that...
Roasted Veggie pasta salad
What you need:
I cup cooked Pasta (I used whole wheat penne because that’s what I had on hand)
3 cups Mixed vegetables sliced length wise – (I used red peppers, potatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots)
Fresh or dried thyme or basil or Italian seasoning
3 cloves Garlic - crushed roughly
Olive oil (Just enough to coat the veggies. You don’t need much)
Lets get down to business:
Toss all the sliced veggies with some olive oil, salt, garlic, dried or fresh herbs. Put everything on a foil covered baking sheet and let it roast at 350 degrees till they’re soft and are cooked. (I would estimate it about 1 hour with each oven varying)
As the vegetables are almost done, start working on your pasta. Immerse in boiling salted water and let it cook. Note that whole wheat takes a little longer to cook than regular semolina pasta.
Once the vegetables are done, transfer them to a bowl large enough to hold the pasta too.
Drain the pasta and add to the cooked vegetables. Toss, toss and toss.
Assembling the pasta
Once it’s done, toss the veggies with the warm cooked pasta and adjust the salt to your taste. Depending on what I have at hand, I toss in some red pepper flakes for heat, chunks of mozzarella or goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes.
My husband even adds in balsamic vinegar to bring even further bring out the sweetness of the carrots and onions.
Tossing the pasta and veggies together with the cheese and ‘add-ins’ work well if both are warm. The heat from the pasta melts the cheese a bit and absorbs flavors better.
If you wish, you can skip the mozzarella and add in some freshly shaved parmesan too.
Pearls of wisdom (yes, I like to flatter myself!):
I use whole wheat pasta to boost the nutritional value of the meal. That being said, this dish works well with regular pasta too. Also my proportion of the vegetables is more compared to the pasta in an effort to cut down on the carbs.
Ideally I would use regular spaghetti for a heartier feel, or a fusilli to go with a salad theme.
Another bonus point – tastes great at room temp, so it travels well for a picnic or if you are brown bagging it.