Monday, 13 August 2012

In The Kitchen: Roasted Vegetable Pasta

I really should start taking photos of my dinners when I cook them. Unfortunately the idea to blog the things I've been cooking over the weekend just came to me, and I've already bunged the leftovers in the freezer. So please accept my apologies for the lack of pictures.

So. I have my cooking mojo back. I like to think I'm pretty nifty in the kitchen, and it is certainly one of my greatest pleasures. Thankfully I have a very appreciative audience for my cooking in the Beard. And he's honest, so he'll give me constructive criticism when I ask for it.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta. 

Nothing fancy, but oh so delicious, and relatively fuss free. Oh, and very Slimming World friendly. The trick here is to get the onions and garlic cooked enough - they should be sweet and sticky and taste delicious on their own.

For the roasted vegetables:

1 medium aubergine
1/2 medium butternut squash
2 courgettes
2 peppers, 1 red, 1 orange
1/2 punnet mushrooms, quartered
Fine ground Sea Salt
Olive oil

For the sauce:
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
6 tomatoes chopped
Tin of tomatoes
Good squeeze tomato puree
Fresh or frozen basil, chopped
Glug of balsamic vinegar (if I had to guess it would be at least a tbsp, maybe 2)
Fine ground Sea Salt
Olive oil

Pasta of your choice - penne or fusilli works well.

The Method

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (200 for a fan oven)/Gas Mark 7. Chop all the vegetables to be roasted into small-medium chunks, put in an oven dish and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Use your hands to mix all together. Place in the middle of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Chop the onions finely. Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan that has a lid. Add the onions and stir for 1 minute, before turning the heat down to medium. Grate/crush the garlic into the pan, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn. Add a tsp of sea salt and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and onions have practically turned to mush and smell very sweet. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Check the roasting veg and stir to turn it and ensure nothing burns.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and turn down the heat. Then pop the lid on the pan and leave to soften for abour 5 minutes. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the tinned tomatoes, the puree and the basil. Stir thoroughly and return the lid to the pan. Leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes.

By this time the oven veg should be about done, check it and if ready, remove from the oven and transfer the veg into the pan with the tomato sauce mixture. Leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes while you put some pasta on to cook.

Remember to put plenty of salt in the water with the pasta, and when it has drained, add a smidge of olive oil and a good grinding of black pepper.

Serve immediately. Parmesan or other hard cheese optional.

Slimming World notes: There is quite a bit of oil in this (at least 3 tbsp), but I got 6 portions out of this amount, which totals only 1/2 tsp per portion. This would be 1/2 HEXB or 3 syns. All other ingredients are free/super free.

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