As a working mum I am always on the look out for a quick and healthy meal to whip up after a long day at work. Reaching for packet sauce may seem like an easier option at the last minute, however I have found there are a multitude of dishes that require little effort yet make much healthier alternatives. Pasta is one of them.
The beauty of this dish is not only its simplicity and nutritional value, but also its versatility; you can add whatever vegetables you choose. Roasted eggplant and capsicum would both go exceptionally well.
This recipe calls for roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms, combined with balsamic vinegar and freshly ground sea salt to bring out natural flavours. Throw on some delicious freshly shaved Romano cheese and you’ll be coming back for seconds!
While the pasta is cooking, you can dice and prepare the vegetables for roasting. All up, this dish requires approximately 30 minutes for preparation and cooking time.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, whole
1 zucchini, diced
8 mushrooms, quartered
½ brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup basil leaves
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
Romano cheese, freshly shaved
Preheat oven to 200oC.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the penne according to the packet instructions. Once cooked al dente, rinse and drain.
Place tomatoes, zucchini, onion and garlic in a baking dish. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and season with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, add mushrooms and roast for a further 5 minutes.
Remove tray from oven, place tomatoes into a bowl and squash with a fork. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and mix. Add the remaining roasted vegetables to the bowl and gently combine.
Heat a large frying pan and pour the roasted mixture into the pan. Add the cooked and drained pasta, tear the basil leaves over the top and toss until the sauce is mixed through nicely. Remove from heat, season, and top with freshly shaved Romano cheese and pine nuts. Serve with a side of salad.
If you are not a fan of Romano cheese, substitute with fresh Parmesan or add feta to the dish.
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