Garlic Roasted Vegetable Pesto Pasta
Pasta is one of those dishes that is fabulous for a quick mid week meal. Pasta with pesto is on rotation pretty much every week in our house. It’s delicious, low effort and you literally can add anything else you want into it.
This is one of my favourite ways to eat pasta. Going to East side Mario’s was a thing growing up. A big group of us friends would have lots of laughs and some mediocre food with endless amounts of bread and their salad - oh goodness that salad! I would always order the same thing. Either the cheese cappelletti or the vegetable primavera, and I would gorge on their salad all evening! Well this dish reminded me of the veggie pasta I always use to get there. The veggies in this dish are roasted and nutty flavoured and fabulous. Roasting the veggies makes all the difference. I’m sure the veggies at the restaurant were probably steamed. No matter though.
The addition of the pesto takes this pasta dish from good to great. Adds so much flavour and a lot more colour. This is such a great staple recipe that keeps all in the family happy and doubles as a great cold pasta salad the next day. It’s also a very versatile recipe. You can sub in different veggies - whatever you may have on hand to make it a clean-out-the-fridge kind of pesto pasta dish. It works really well for that. Whatever you decide to add or substitute veggie-wise, I’m sure you will be happy with it! It’s just one of those dishes that everyone loves!
Roasted Vegetables And Pasta
- 1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes left whole
- 1 medium size red onion peeled and chopped
- 1 yellow sweet pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 medium size zucchini, trimmed and chopped
- 1 small eggplant, trimmed and chopped
- ½ head of broccoli chopped into small florets
- ½ head of cauliflower chopped into small florets
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb of rigatoni pasta (or short pasta of choice)
Basil and spinach Pesto
- 1 cup packed fresh spinach/kale or a green of your choice
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- ¼ almonds or pine nuts
- ½-⅔ cup of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside
- Roast vegetables: In a large bowl toss the vegetables along with the onion and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Spread the veggies on on the baking sheet/s without overcrowding and bake for 20-30 minutes or until tender and with golden brown edges. Toss veggies and rotate pan halfway through roasting.
- Make pesto: While veggies are roasting make the pesto by adding everything except the oil and Parmesan cheese to a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, scraping down the side of of the bowl when needed. Drizzle in the oil while the processor is running and until the pesto is nice and smooth
- Transfer the pesto to a bowl, stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside
- Boil Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to the box instructions, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water. Drain and set aside
- In a large bowl add the cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, pesto and the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to coat and check for seasoning.
- Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and some fresh herbs to garnish