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Ok here’s my first meal cooked in my new kitchen! The move is finally done – well, almost. I mean sure – we have our bed downstairs still b/c it won’t fit up the staircase along with a dresser and desk….but whatever – we’re mostly moved in. It was quite a feat if I might say so myself….N and I did it by ourselves and let me just tell you this – I owe that man! He moved so much of it by himself b/c I was weak and tired! Haha…

So here it is – Roasted Vegetable Pasta. I made this because it’s a great dish to make for the week ahead. I pack it for lunch for the entire week and it’s easy peasy. And healthy. For real. It’s about 2:1 vegetable to pasta ratio.

Here’s what you’ll need: Vidalia onions, red peppers, fennel, whole wheat pasta, carrots, grape tomatoes, lemons, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Oh, and not pictured: spray oil.

First things first, preheat oven to 400 degrees and slice your veggies. You can slice/cut them however you want, I decided to slice mine into thin strips.

Do the same with the carrots and fennel.

At this point you can mix the veggies together and then divide amongst two baking sheets – but I just decided to do the onions and peppers on one sheet pan and the fennel and carrots on another baking sheet.

To save on calories I sprayed each of the vegetable pans with spray oil, then sprinkled over salt and pepper. Place the veggies in the oven for about a half hour until they are soft and slightly caramelized. If you notice that some areas are getting more brown, mix the veggies and then plop back into the oven.

Note: you can also grill these veggies if you’re into using your grill. I think that would be pretty delicious. Next time…

Ok, back to cooking. Cook your whole wheat pasta following the box instructions – I used the entire box of rotini pasta.

While the veggies are in the oven cooking and your pasta is boiling away – you can start making the dressing. It’s super simple – something that I’ve seen Ina Garten make all the time (p.s. I love the Barefoot Contessa).

All you need to do is juice lemons to get 1/3 c. of juice – I needed 3 lemons.

Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard…..and whisk with the juice – then slowly stream in 1/3 c. olive oil and whisk to make a nice dressing.

Once the veggies are almost done – place the tomatoes onto one of the dishes and allow to cook for 5 – 10 minutes in the oven, until the skin breaks slightly.

And now we’re almost done – just toss the pasta, veggies, and dressing together. At this stage, taste the pasta to see if you want to add any more salt and pepper. I didn’t add any s&p to the dressing b/c I seasoned the veggies before cooking and didn’t want to over salt the dish. I actually ended up adding another teaspoon of salt at that point. The pasta salad is on the dry-ish side in regards to the dressing – but believe me, the dressing is so flavorful you don’t want your pasta to be swimming in it.

This is a great dish to keep on hand…totally adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand and the dressing can be modified as well. If you don’t have lemons you can sub red wine or balsamic vinegar. And it makes a great lunch – or add a chicken sausage and you’ve got yourself a more complete meal. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Serves 8
Click here for recipe.

Ingredients:
2 Vidalia onions
2 red peppers
¼ lb. carrots
1 fennel bulb
1 tub of grape tomatoes
3 lemons – or 1/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 t. salt, divided
1 t. pepper, divided
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 box whole wheat pasta, rotini or penne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees – prepare 2 baking sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
  2. Slice onions, peppers, carrots, and fennel in similar size shapes…I sliced mine into long strips.
  3. Spread vegetables evenly onto 2 baking sheets, spray with additional cooking spray and sprinkle over 1 t. salt onto each tray of veggies and ½ t. pepper onto each tray. Place into oven and cook for 30 minutes – checking on them half way through to make sure certain parts aren’t getting too brown – if they are, use a spatula and move veggies around.
  4. Cook whole wheat pasta per box instructions.
  5. Make the lemon dressing: juice lemons to get 1/3 c. of juice, add 1 T. Dijon and mix into the lemon juice, then slowly add in 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil while whisking into the juice/Dijon mixture. Mix until dressing is fully whisked together.
  6. After 30 minutes in the oven, add the grape tomatoes to the baking sheet in the oven and allow the tomatoes to cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, until tomatoes are slightly cooked and the skin has begun to break.
  7. Take the veggies and pasta and toss with lemon dressing. Taste the pasta to see if you would like to add any additional seasoning…I added 1 additional teaspoon of salt at that point. Enjoy!
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