May 30, 2011

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

May29-2011-18

Like so many of our dinners, this one too started with leftovers. What can I say? I just like to build new dinners around leftovers. Could be anything from meat or poultry that I’ll turn into a pot pie to a few cups of mashed potatoes that end up being the base of a hearty soup. In this case it was roughly 3 cups pasta from the night before.

First, I must admit that my fridge is usually stocked up on fresh vegetables during the weekend, so I had a lot to work with here. Decided to add a plethora of roasted vegetables,  cherry tomatoes, throw in a little home-made pesto verde and I was all set to go.

This one rocked! It was easy, flavorful, colorful and comforting, You can use whatever veggies you have on hand—I can see how adding crunchy asparagus will be amazing as well—and roasting it all brings out more of their natural flavors and sweetness.

Replace the home-made pesto with jarred for an even faster meal. Vary the cheeses and herbs you use, or make pesto with arugula. You really can’t go wrong.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked fusilli
1 small box cherry tomatoes
1 fennel bulb
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
1 large onion
1 bell pepper
9 oz cervelaat (or salami/chorizo)
large handful fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp oil
3 oz pine nuts
parmesan
pepper and salt

 

Directions:

Like I said, the whole thing started with 3 cups cooked fusilli from the night before. It’s why I seldom to never throw anything away.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Doesn’t it look colorful? I love my veggies. Make sure everything is washed properly and dried.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Slice the pepper anyway you like. I kept it coarse.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Cut the eggplant and zucchini in reasonably sized cubes. Do the same with the onion.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Technically you can eat it but I prefer to remove the fronds and core of the fennel before giving it a coarse chop. It can taste bitter.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Transfer all the vegetables to a roasting tray, add a little oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

 
Roast the vegetables for 30 to 40 minutes at 400Fº (200Cº). Depends on how soft or crunchy you want them. Stir now and then.
 

Opted for Cervelaat. Like salami this sausage is cured and air-dried, the only difference is the lack of garlic. You could use salami or chorizo as well.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

 
You can wake me up for this stuff. I could eat this whole darn thing by myself.
 

I removed the little paper wrapping, thinly sliced the sausage and cut the slices in half.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Lightly toasted the pine-nuts in a dry and hot skillet and let 2/3 of them cool off in my food processor bowl.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Heat some oil in the skillet you used for the pine nuts and bake the sausage until slightly crispy. Just a few minutes.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Add lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the pine nuts.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Add a good handful fresh basil leaves—I never really measure this—to bowl as well.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Add 1 or 2 grated garlic cloves, 4 tbsp oil and, oh well, I decided to add even more Parmesan. Just because I can.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Gave it a few blitzes, tasted it to check the seasoning, added a pinch of salt and pepper and pulsed until it was smooth. You can keep a coarser texture as well.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

 
I always add salt after I’ve pulsed a few times and tasted it. The Parmesan can be quite salty.
 

The vegetables should be done by now.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Add them to the pasta, stir in as much pesto as you like (I stuck with 2 tbsp), the remaining toasted pine nuts and the sausage. Mix it all up.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

 
Garnish with torn up basil leaves and Parmesan curls. Chances are you’ll have some leftover pesto. I say: pesto bruschetta on the side! Yum.
 

Perfect summer meal. Serve with ice-cold rose wine and be happy.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
Ingredients
    3 cups cooked fusilli
    1 small box cherry tomatoes
    1 fennel bulb
    1 eggplant
    1 zucchini
    1 large onion
    1 bell pepper
    9 oz cervelaat (or salami/chorizo)
    large handful fresh basil
    2 garlic cloves
    4 tbsp oil
    3 oz pine nuts
    parmesan
    pepper and salt
Directions
    Clean the vegetables, pat them dry and give them a coarse chop. Transfer them to a roasting tray, drizzle a little oil all over and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 30 to 40 minutes at 400Fº (200Cº). Depends on how soft or crunchy you want them. Stir now and then.

    Thinly slice the salami, cervelaat or chorizo.

    Toast the pine nuts until golden brown in a hot dry skillet. Let them cool off and transfer 2/3 of them to a food processor bowl. Heat a little oil and cook the sausage for a few minutes, until slightly crunchy.

    Add lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the pine nuts in the food processor bowl. Add a really good handful fresh basil, grate the garlic in there and pour in the oil. Pulse for a few times, taste to see how salt it is and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until you have a consistency you like.

    As soon as the vegetables are done you add them to the pasta. Along with the remaining pine nuts and pesto to taste (I used 2 tbsp) and the baked sausage slices. Mix it all up, divide between 4 plates and garnish with torn up basil leaves and Parmesan curls.

    Use the remaining pesto for pesto bruschetta.
Meal type: main course
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com
Jan 31, 2011

Simple Marinara Sauce

I whipped up some marinara sauce for a dinner with friends we had last weekend. It was then that I noticed my marinara sauce was missing from my blog! Well, missing… I simply never posted it. Shame on me. I’m a sad excuse for a food blogger. I always make my sauce from scratch. It’s hardly any work, you get to add vegetables that influence the flavor, plus you don’t…