Friday, May 27, 2011

Roasted Pasta Primavera

You might think that roasting vegetables negates the point of Pasta Primavera, but it doesn't. It just gives the bounty of Spring vegetables a richness and depth of flavor that is different from the freshness you would get from a quick blanching in water.

I start by peeling and chopping carrots, broccoli, and zucchini (not peeled) into similar size pieces for even cooking. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, dried organo, and dried thyme (about a tsp each).
I added some chopped spring onion at the last minute and popped them into a 400º oven for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and just started to caramelize.

I used another spring onion and clove of garlic to gently sauté the cherry tomatoes with a splash olive oil, and later a bit of white wine and chicken stock. 
After about 2 minutes of cooking I added some halved snow peas and turned the heat down to low.

(The tomatoes could be added to the pasta raw, but the Hubs does not like raw tomato. Hence, this lightly simmered sauce.)

Remove roasted veggies from the oven and spread around the sheet tray to pick up the rest of the oil and seasonings. Then toss in the bottom of a big pasta bowl.

As I had some leftover fresh mozzarella, I placed some diced cubes in the bottom of each bowl before adding the pasta.

I placed the just-shy of fully cooked fettuccine in the pot with the tomatoes and liquids to combine flavors and finish cooking. About a minute or two later I toss all of that into the large pasta bowl, add a generous handful of grated pecorino cheese, a drizzle of good olive oil, and toss everything to combine.
I also threw in a moderate chiffonade of basil and some chopped fennel fronds at the end for a bit of freshness.
Divide into the bowls with the diced mozzarella and enjoy.
The heat of the pasta will slightly melt the mozzarella cubes, creating little hidden nuggets of melty cheese.
This is a very healthy and flavorful dish, and if you portion out your servings so they are equal parts vegetables to pasta, you can feel largely guilt-free about a larger portion size!


Jenn said...


Joe Ambrosino said...

Very interesting! I made a more Italian version of roasted vegetables a couple of days ago (It had fennel and a roasted pepper/sundried tomato sauce). Unfortunately, the batteries of my camera crapped out, but guess what I served it with? You got it-quinoa! What's that they say about great minds and old dogs?