Mediterranean Inspired Roasted Veggie Pasta

I’m definitely one of these weirdos that just loves vegetables and will quite happily replace my carby potatoes with more veggies…sometimes.

I do tend to have a small group of vegetables that I stick to and no matter what I’m eating, I always try to fit these in somehow. I love most veggies but definitely have my favourites.

Asparagus is one because it’s such a delicate and refreshing flavour but I also go a bit crazy over courgette too. Red onion, butternut squash and fine beans are also definitely up there on my top ten list.

My Mediterranean inspired pasta dish actually came about because I had a seriously embarrassing amount of veggies in my fridge that were almost ready to go. Anyone that knows me will understand how much I hate wasting food, so of course something had to be done. Even better still, it’s really easy to turn this into a vegan dish by substituting the mozzarella for a non-dairy alternative.

With tonnes of garlic and onion, this pasta dish is not for the faint hearted and may cause your friends and family to avoid you for a couple of days (sorry about that). Nonetheless, it is a ridiculously tasty dish and like much of the food I love, requires minimal effort.

Whilst I can’t promise sunshine and cocktails, I an assure you this easy peasy pasta dish brings together all of the lovely flavours of the Mediterranean.

Ingredients (for four people)

  • 2-3 small red onions, quartered
  • 5 cloves of garlic, whole and in their skin
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • A handful of asparagus (about 5-6 large spears), chopped into thumb sized pieces
  • 2 medium courgettes, sliced 1/2cm thick and cut into moon shaped pieces
  • 500g of dried pasta (I use rigatoni)
  • 5 large salad tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ball of mozzarella cheese or non-dairy alternative, cubed (I like violife)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of parsley and basil, finely chopped

Method

1. Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (fan) and chop your veg as stated above. Place your onions and whole garlic in a deep sided oven-proof dish and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Pop these in the oven and leave to cook for about 10-15 minutes to get them started.

2. Once the onions have started to soften, add your chopped asparagus and courgette. Add the remaining olive oil, toss everything together in the dish and cook for another 20 minutes

3. Next, add the tomatoes and then put your vegetables back in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until everything is soft and the flavours have begun to mingle.

4. Whilst the vegetables are cooking, pop your pasta into a pan of well salted, boiling water and cook until al dente.

5. Once your pasta is perfectly cooked, drain, add your pan of veggies and mozzarella and heat until the cheese has turned gooey and delicious.

6. Dress with plenty of salt and pepper, the remaining olive oil and your chopped herbs. You shouldn’t need any extra sauce, as those lovely tomatoes will have started to break down and release their juices.

Serve this deliciously summery dish with a glass of your favourite white wine and you’re good to go.

BONUS: Thanks to all that roasting, your garlic cloves should be soft, mild and beautifully sweet. If you’ve never roasted and eaten whole garlic cloves before then you’re in for a treat! Take those bad boys out of their casing and and get ready for a taste sensation that can only be descried as euphoric.

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