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4th March
written by Steph
Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Do you want to cook a meal that’s not only good tasting but good for you as well?  Give this roasted veggie pasta a whirl!  It’s pretty easy to bang together, is teeming with lovely, rich flavors (it tastes better than it photographs... something I probably didn't help with my excessively liberal cheese sprinkling), and is pretty darn healthy, too!  We’re pretty omnivorous over here at Steph & Tony Investigate, but every so often I’m able to come up with a dish that is sufficiently hearty and satisfying that Tony doesn’t notice (or at least complain about) the absence of meat.  The sauce here is kind of a quickie, less effortful version of ratatouille (a recipe I will one day share here, but not just yet), and is really very delicious.  It takes about 40 minutes to pull this dish together, but I’d still say it’s worthy of weeknight status, as it’s not at all stressful or difficult. Ingredients
  • 1 white onion, cut into coarse eighths
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks (not slivers)
  • 3  - 4 yellow summer squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into individual cloves
  • Italian seasoning (or combination of basil, thyme, oregano)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Penne pasta (or other “robust” pasta of your choice… probably something like a spiral pasta or a rigatoni, stay away from the tangly pastas here, I think)
Method 1.  Preheat oven to 425° F. 2.  Combine all of your veggies (and cloves of garlic) in a big bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix with your hands so that the oil covers them all evenly, then sprinkle a healthy amount of the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, over the veggies, combining it all with your fingers once more. 3.  Spread your veggies out on a cookie tray (you may need two) and place in the oven to roast for about 25 – 30 minutes.  At the end of cooking, your veggies should be nice and brown and roasted. 4.  Near the end of your veggies’ cooking time, put your water on to boil, and cook your pasta according to the directions.  Once water is boiling, reserve about 1 cup the hot pasta water. 5.  Remove cooked veggies from the oven and place half the veggies in a food processor/blender.  Begin to blend the veggies and slowly add the hot water until you get a thick, but not “claggy” sauce.  You don’t want your sauce to be watery, but if you don’t add some liquid, it won’t cover your pasta very well.  Mix the non-puréed veggies back into the sauce to add in a little texture. 6.  Serve sauce over cooked pasta, and garnish with shaved cheese if desired (this is definitely not optional in our house, but it might be in yours!)


Overall, this was a really satisfying but not overly heavy meal.  The sauce had great flavor, although I think my eggplant was a tad large so eggplant was the predominant flavor when I cooked this.  I didn’t exactly consider this to be a bad thing, but you can tweak the proportions according to your own veg preferences (if you want a more of a tomato flavor to your sauce, I’d recommend doubling the amount I listed).  I thought the source was almost akin to a homemade baba ganoush (eggplant dip) in the end, and Tony & I both quite enjoyed it.  It’s a good recipe for using up veggies in your fridge, and the flavors are really improved by the roasting, I think. You could very easily skip step 5 if you don’t have a blender or don’t feel inclined to mix your veggies into a more conventional sauce.  I think this would still be extremely tasty if you simply tossed the roasted veggies with your cooked pasta, but I think the “sauciness” of this version is not without its own charms.  The flavors are all here in this dish, and it’s much more layered than a standard marinara sauce, so I promise you won’t miss the meat from it.  Trust me.  If anyone was going to miss meat from a dish, it would be Tony, and he had no complaints whatsoever with this dish.  Perfect for those of you who, like us, have spent a good portion of 2009 at the gym.  Enough to fill you up afer your workout, but sufficiently good for you that you won’t feel guilty for having eaten it!


  1. 03/04/2009

    That looks delicious! And there’s nothing wrong with excessively liberal cheese sprinkling…

  2. 03/04/2009

    Certainly not in my mind! A life without cheese is not a life worth living in my opinion! 😉

  3. 03/04/2009

    You are a lot more adventurous in the kitchen then I have been lately. This recipe looks great and I agree wholly about the liberal use of cheese. I always look forward to your recipe posts, not only are they inspiring, the pictures are lovely as well.

  4. 03/04/2009

    Aw, thanks for the kind words, zibilee. I wouldn’t necessarily call this recipe adventurous, as it’s pretty much foolproof, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless. I’m also glad that you like the pictures – Tony really helps me feature the dishes, since what’s the point of a recipe without a picture? 😉 I’d recommend giving this one a try, as the most strenuous thing about it is the chopping of the vegetables (but you don’t have to be precise – I have to admit, I take pleasure in having asymmetrical vegetables!).

  5. 03/10/2009

    Well, it’s kind of adventurous for me because lately I have been sticking to about 5 or so recipes and just rotating between them. I guess it is more apt to say that I find you have a lot of variety in what you eat and seem to have a varied menu going on.

  6. 03/10/2009

    Well, I suppose we do have a pretty varied repertoire, because I tend to get bored and fussy if I eat the same things over and over again (though sometimes I go through spurts where I want every meal to be, say, mac and cheese!). Also, posting recipes here motivates me to keep things interesting, because I can’t very well post the same recipes over and over again! 😉

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