Budget Friendly Meals: Pasta with Seasonal Vegetables

This recipe adapts easily to seasonal vegetables.

| August/September 2009

  • The first step toward eatin well while spending less is planning.
    Pat Crocker

Serves 4 to 6

This recipe adapts easily to seasonal vegetables: This is our late-summer version. Try whole-grain pasta for a healthier dish.

• 2 carrots, cut into thin strips
• 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
• 1 small eggplant, cut into thin strips
• 1 red onion, cut in half and sliced thin
• 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
• 1⁄3 cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Mediterranean Herb Paste or fresh basil
• Freshly ground sea salt and pepper
• 1 pound farfalle pasta
• 12 cherry tomatoes or olives, halved
• Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine carrot, zucchini and eggplant strips, onion, and red pepper. Toss with oil, Herb Paste and salt and pepper to coat. Spread evenly in 1 layer over a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, stirring once, until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to the cooking pot and toss with the roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Use only as much as you need to keep the pasta from sticking. Season pasta with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Note: For a spring/early summer version, use freshly chopped basil or chervil in place of the Mediterranean Herb Paste. Spring vegetables, including roasted asparagus and leeks, new peas, fennel, green garlic tops, artichokes and arugula can be tossed with the pasta.

Pat Crocker cooks bistro-style food with her favorite herbs every week. Her latest book, The Vegan Cook’s Bible (Robert Rose, 2009), is now available. 

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