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Roasting Vegetables Makes a “Sweet” Pasta Dinner

Roasting Vegetables Makes a “Sweet” Pasta Dinner

September 17, 2012
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As fall approaches, and the temperature cools down, I finally feel like using my oven again. It is just too hot in the summer to cook with it and I would rather grill outside than heat up my house. I can cook almost anything on the grill, but there are a few things I like better when cooked in the oven. The first on my list is vegetables. I like them grilled but love them roasted in the oven. Roasting vegetables turns the starch into sugar, which completely changes the taste, giving it a "sweet and caramelized flavor." You can’t get this flavor by grilling, boiling or sautéing these vegetables, only from roasting them.

I was looking for a hearty dinner recipe that included roasted vegetables and found one that I thought my family would like; Lemon & Thyme Roasted Vegetables with Pasta. I had several vegetables left over from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share and my weekly trip to the local farmers market. This recipe seemed like a good way to use a bunch of vegetables, in a way my family would enjoy.

To begin this recipe, gather all the ingredients together. If you don’t have one of the vegetables called for in the recipe, just leave it out, there are plenty of other vegetables you could use. You won’t miss it. There are also a few substitutions you can make to this recipe. If you can’t find asparagus, use broccoli like I have and if you can’t find leeks, use small green onions.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, mix together the oil, chopped thyme leaves, garlic, and salt. Stir gently and set aside.

Peel and chop each vegetable and put into a 13x9-inch baking pan.

There are a couple of vegetables in this recipe that may not sound familiar. I can never remember what a rutabaga looks like, and I get it confused with a turnip and/or a parsnip. I usually look online for a picture before I go to the store or just ask the produce manager once I’m there. This is a rutabaga:

Peel it by cutting off the roots, and then use a vegetable peeler for the remainder of the peel.

Cut the rutabaga into ½-inch cubes and put into the baking pan.

Once you have all of the vegetables in the pan, spoon the oil mixture over them. I did not add the broccoli to the mix at this time; I added it halfway through the cooking time since the broccoli cooks faster than the other vegetables.

Put aluminum foil on top of the pan and put in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you add broccoli, remove the pan from the oven and add the broccoli.

Remove the aluminum foil and continue cooking for another 15-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and begin to brown. You will need to stir the vegetables occasionally. In order to test the "doneness", I took out a few of the vegetables and tasted them. I like the vegetables a little firm, but not mushy, so I cooked them for 15 minutes, the minimum amount of time suggested.

While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Toss the cooked pasta with the lemon peel, butter, and parsley. Mix in the roasted vegetables and pour into a serving bowl. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Taste the pasta to see if it needs salt, pepper, and/or more Parmesan cheese. I cut one of the lemons in half and squeezed the juice over the pasta, just to make it extra lemony.

You and your friends, family or guests will love this roasted vegetable pasta dish. The sweet flavors of the roasted vegetables pair beautifully with the tart lemon and savory herb flavors. People who say they don’t "like" certain vegetables (rutabagas, broccoli, leeks, etc.), may be pleasantly surprised by this "sweet" pasta dish!

If you’re looking for a great way to use your end of summer vegetables, look no further. Give Lemon & Thyme Roasted Vegetables with Pasta a try, and make sure to come back and rate and review the recipe.

Check back in a few days when Liz will share a fun twist on an apple pie.

Bridget is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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