Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pasta with Roasted Provencal Vegetable Sauce

I actually use the sauce recipe as a base recipe for other recipes too. It's really tasty and healthy. It's a recipe from Bon Appetit and I do change the herbs according to what I feel like or have at home, they all seem to add to the sauce.

You can try basil instead of rosemary, oregano instead of thyme etc. Or if you want some heat, you can add some red pepper flakes. Experiment with it, you probably will like most of them.

Adding some black olives also works for me. It makes the sauce a little bit more salty which I love.

Or you can toss in some mushrooms, just add it at the end. Or red pepper if you like it.

Do sweat out the eggplant with some salt before roasting it. This also helps it cook faster for some reason.

Caramelize 1/2 can of tomato paste in a non-stick pan and add it to the tomatoes before adding them to the roasted veggies. This will add a terrific smoky flavor.


PASTA WITH ROASTED PROVENCAL VEGETABLE SAUCE

Ingredients:

1 16- to 18-ounce eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can seasoned crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange eggplant and onion on large rimmed nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Stir zucchini and garlic into vegetables; continue to roast until all vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer.

Stir crushed tomatoes into vegetables on baking sheet; roast until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Ladle 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid into small bowl; reserve. Drain pasta.

Return pasta to same pot. Add roasted vegetable sauce and all herbs to pasta and toss to blend. Gradually add enough reserved pasta cooking liquid to moisten as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl and serve.

Serves 6.

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