Thursday, October 9, 2008

Veggie Heaven...Roasted Veggies with Pasta

Just so you know, I haven't neglected my blog because I'm lazy, or because I have nothing to say. I've been a bit busy with worrying and doctor's appointments for my hubby. It turns out that little mass in his lung that I posted about a few weeks ago is cancer...a melanoma to be exact. Who knew that skin cancer can actually be on the inside of the body? There isn't anything on the outside to indicate that he had any problems. So anyway, we're dealing with that now. Waiting to hear about treatments. But since I have to cook, I might as well continue to post.
On to cheerier topics.

I have newly discovered roasting veggies. WOW!!! I love this way of cooking them. I seriously doubt I will ever pot a veggie again. I can't believe how tasty they are. So tonight I decided to combine them with pasta and cheese. I have to say this was really good. The recipe is pretty loosey goosey, but, then, that's what makes cooking so exciting!

Ingredients (subject to change depending on your taste)

2 baking sheets full of assorted veggies cut to uniform size....I used broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers but any of your favorites could be used...any squashes, parsnips, turnips, cauliflower, carrots. Well, you get the picture.
kosher salt
rosemary or any other herb you like
5-7 large clove garlic chopped
3-4 cups baby spinach
about 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan
1 pound pasta cooked according to package directions reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid
salt and pepper to taste

This is so super easy, and healthy to boot! Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Adjust the oven racks to the center of the oven. You are going to need both racks.

Drizzle EVOO over the bottoms of the baking sheets and spread to ensure the sheets are thoroughly covered. Place the veggies on the sheets, drizzle more oil generously over them, sprinkle with the chopped garlic, herbs of your choosing, and kosher salt.

Place on 2 racks in the oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes rotating the racks once

While the veggies are roasting cook your pasta, reserving a cup of the liquid. It's fun to use different shaped pastas for this dish. I used a radiatori. Place the pasta in a HUGE bowl. Quickly wilt the spinach in olive oil and the balsamic vinegar in a large skillet. Add all the veggies and the reserved cooking liquid to the pasta along with the cheeses and any salt and pepper you think you need (I didn't add any), and toss. And there you go! A healthy, delicious and economical meal. All you need (well, maybe not "need") is some yummy bread. Dinner!

This is really versatile. Tonight I sauteed some chopped chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, grill seasoning and garlic powder in olive oil. After they were cooked on the outside I added about 1/2 cup white wine and cooked it until it was reduced a bit. Then I dumped it all into the leftover pasta from last night and heated individual portions in the microwave. And we still have enough for a couple of more meals. But my hubby says that is fine. He was very happy with this dish. If he will eat something more than twice, you know it's good. Enjoy!


Mara said...

Made this last night; it was great! I would also recommend putting the chicken on the pan as well and turning up the heat a little bit...I also used a glass 9 by 12 casserole dish for all the veggies and the chicken instead a cooking sheet. The pasta water addition threw me a little, but it certainly helped in the long run by making a little 'sauce' with all the goodies. I also added fresh tomatoes...delicious!

Karen said...

Mara, I have a passion for cooking shows and from what I understand is that is you add some of the water you cooked the pasta in to your dish the starch in the water helps things adhere to the pasta instead of just sliding off...especially sauces. I like the idea of roasting the chicken with the veggies. The first night was vegetarian and I just added the chicken as an afterthought the next night. Thanks for the idea!