Roasted vegetables with pasta

veggies

Greetings all! I don’t want to bore everyone with a long introduction, because this is the Internet and you can easily find links and such, but suffice to say I’m thrilled to be here and am looking forward to sharing my recipes and reading those of my fellow gamers.

‘Nuff said. Let’s get cooking!

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I’m starting off here with one of my staple meals — roasted vegetables with pasta. It’s a great any time of the year, and especially any time when you have a surplus of fresh veggies. It can be made as the main dish, a side, and is great leftover (cold or warm). I prefer the mixture of tomatoes, corn, onion, and asparagus, but I’ve also made it with string beans, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots, and other add-ins. If a vegetable can be roasted, then it’ll be perfect here!

Ingredients
(Serves 2-3 people as a main dish; you can adjust accordingly)

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (or 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, or canned but drain first
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 10-12 asparagus spears, chopped (and be sure to remove the woody ends)
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • (Other veggies of your choosing, chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • Pasta of your choice.  Large shapes, like egg noodles (my fav), bow ties, or shells work well.
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • Salt and pepper

You’ll also need a medium to large pan on which to put everything — a cookie sheet, roasting pan, 13 x 9 baking dish, etc. — to which liberally apply a cooking spray of your choosing.

Should you wish to add meat, roast chicken or pork work well. I’ll often cook a piece of chicken (simply seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and pepper) in the oven along with the veggies, then shred and mix it in with the appropriate serving.

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Place all the veggies and garlic cloves on the pan/dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes. (My gauge for doneness is when the tomatoes start to pop open.) Remove from oven once done.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling, salted water.  Drain thoroughly but do not rinse.

4. In same pot as you cooked the pasta, melt a few tabs of butter over medium-low heat and add in a few splashes of olive oil.

5. Once this mixture is warm, add in all the veggies except for the garlic cloves.  Mash garlic cloves separately (in a press or on a board), then add and mix.  Gently stir in the pasta and mix in a decent handful of parmesan cheese.  (Add chicken, if using.)  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with warm garlic bread.


Let’s see just how many blogs Cary can put on her roster before going mad! While you’ll find her here on occasion, you’ll more likely to catch her over on United We Game or Geek Force Network; or better yet, working on her own blog about gaming and nostalgia and such, Recollections of Play.

Recipe: Cauliflower and Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca is so quick and simple to make, but comes with huge flavor. You might have to pick up a couple of unusual ingredients depending on what you usually have in your pantry, but it’s worth it. It also needs very little human intervention or prep time, so it’s a perfect dish to put together in between Hearthstone games or whatever you might be up to.

In my version of puttanesca I replace half the pasta with cauliflower. It’s just lighter and better for a hot summer night.

Pasta Puttanesca
Serves 2

Ingredients
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 cup of penne or whatever pasta you have the cupboard
3 anchovy fillets
3 (at least) cloves of garlic
half a can of whole tomatoes
a handful of pitted kalamata olives
a handful of capers
dried basil
some salt and pepper
olive oil
fresh chopped Italian parsley
an optional slice of good crusty bread

Preparation

Break down the cauliflower into bite sized florets. Heat some olive oil in a pan and then throw the cauliflower in at medium temperature. Let it sizzle for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile start some water for the pasta and cook as directed for al dente.

Roughly chop up the garlic. Add it, the anchovy fillets, the basil, and salt and pepper to the hot cauliflower pan. Mash up the anchovy while it cooks, and stir it all in.

Add the capers and olives and let everything cook together on medium-hot for just a couple of minutes. Then add the whole tomatoes (and the juice they’re packed in). I usually cut them in half with my spatula.

Turn down the sauce and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Throw in the cooked, rinsed pasta at the end.

Serve with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley and optionally a slice of crusty bread.


Jessica, aka Liore, can usually be found griping about video games on her blog and podcast at Herding Cats, or on Twitter. She likes saying “flavor profile” and going light on the carbs, and dislikes measuring things. Jessica is currently obsessed with Korean cuisine.