November 9, 2008

Pappardelle Pasta with Fresh Roasted Vegetables

Yesterday afternoon my boyfriend and I went to the Soulard Market to get some food for dinner later that night. It's so nice to go there because the market is huge, everything is fresh and really well priced. They even had some live turkeys and... er, I guess it can't get much fresher than that, right? We didn't really have anything particular in mind for dinner so we just ended up picking out a bunch of fresh vegetables like these miniature sweet peppers, which were $1 a box.

Later on we passed a stand with lots of different varieties of pasta. They had so many combinations I'd never even heard of or thought about like chocolate linguini, lemon, tangerine, and beet flavored pasta, and so many other colorful mixes of orzo and rotini. We settled on some whole wheat toasted onion pappardelle because I think the thickness of pappardelle just makes it heartier and more flavorful, plus it looks pretty.  I'm pretty sure I could actually taste the toasted onion when we had the pasta and it pleasantly reminded me of the dry lipton soup mix I used to use to make french onion dip when I was little.

Before we started cooking I looked at some recipes for pasta with eggplant because since it's only recently that I started liking eggplant, I've never cooked with it before. Most of the recipes I read talked about roasting the eggplant in the oven instead of sauteing it, which is how I usually cook my vegetables. So I decided to roast all the vegetables (except the tomatoes and some onion which I used for a light sauce) in the oven.

Pappardelle Pasta with Fresh Roasted Vegetables

1/2 lb pappardelle pasta
2 tomatoes
1/2 medium eggplant
7 miniature sweet peppers (or 2 regular sized)
3/4 large zucchini
1 yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter

pinch of oregano and red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for grating

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the eggplant, peppers, zucchini, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 the onion in medium chunks. In a casserole dish or glass baking pan toss the chopped vegetables with 1 tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper until coated. Place in the oven and roast for 25- 30 minutes*.  

While the vegetables are cooking put a large pot of water on the stove for the pasta then chop the tomatoes and finely chop the other half of the onion and 3 cloves of garlic.  Once the water is boiling add the pasta and cook until al-dente.  Add the onions and garlic to a hot pan with the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook until slightly browned, then add tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down.  Add some pasta water to the sauce if it cooks down too much (I added about 2-3 tbsp).

Remove the vegetable from the oven and toss in the pan with the tomato sauce. Plate the pasta and cover with vegetable sauce and grated parmesan cheese. Serve.

*This is how long I roasted them and I found that some of the vegetables had gotten a little soft for my taste; however, I usually like my vegetables very very crunchy.  To avoid this perhaps it would be better to only roast the eggplant and brown the other vegetables in a pan with some oil.

No comments: