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Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto

This dish is so easy. It's just chop, bake, boil and process. The toughest part is roasting the peppers, but, really, that's easy, too.

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 basil leaves, finely chopped
fine sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 eggplant
2 zucchinis
2 portabella mushroom caps
remaining head of garlic (after cloves above are removed)
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 pound whole grain pasta (whole wheat, brown rice, whole spelt)
pesto sauce*

large pot of water with pasta insert or colander
paper lunch bag
small bowl
small whisk
garlic press
chef’s knife
cutting board
large glass baking dish
pastry brush
aluminum foil
large bowl

1. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
2. Boil large pot of water.
3. On bare stovetop, roast bell pepper over open flame, turning as each side becomes charred.
4. Move charred peppers to paper lunch bag. Close and set aside.
5. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, garlic cloves, basil, salt and pepper.
6. Cut eggplants, zucchinis and mushrooms into large chunks.
7. Brush glass baking dish with olive oil mixture.
8. Line baking dish with vegetables.
9. Drizzle remaining olive oil mixture. Toss to coat. Place in oven.
10. Take remaining head of garlic, cut off top, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and place directly on oven rack.
11. Salt boiling water, add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.
12. Remove charred skins and seeds from peppers. Cut into large chunks.
13. As veggies start to roast on one side, turn over for even cooking.
14. Cook until soft, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
15. Drain pasta and run (in colander) under cold water to stop cooking process.
16. In a large bowl, combine pasta, roasted vegetables, roasted garlic (squeezed from casing) and pesto*. Toss until ingredients are well distributed. Serve immediately.

* The thing to remember with pesto is that a little goes a long way. Start by adding half of the pesto and mix. If you would like more, add as desired.

Serves 6

© 2009 by Allison Lattman

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