For me, summer eating is all about simple, fresh, tasty meals. When the sun is shining, there’s nothing better than enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner outside under it’s warmth. And, this dish is just perfect for that. In this season, I really like to make the most of eating lots of fresh vegetables, and always end up adding heaps of them to any meal.
There are just so many vegetables that I love, so when it came to making this recipe, I knew I wanted to include a wide variety of them, and make the most of all the fresh produce currently available near me. For this pasta dish, I decided to roast the vegetables first, as the process really enhances their flavour, gives them a nice texture, and is perfect for when you’re cooking lots of vegetables at once.
After roasting, I combined them with a rich, spicy, tomatoey sauce made with cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chilli and garlic. I kept it quite small, fairly thick and bold with flavour, perfect for giving a nice coating of sauce for the vegetables and pasta, providing them with enough taste, but not overwhelming them. With this dish, I decided the ratio between the ingredients quite carefully, so that you could enjoy all of its elements equally.
So, after just about 30 minutes of cooking time in total, the dish is completely done and ready to be eaten! As a fairly quick and simple meal to prepare, this is certainly one of my favourite Summer dishes to eat at the moment, so I hope you enjoy it!
spicy roasted vegetable pasta
serves about 4
for the vegetables:
1 medium courgette (zucchini)
1 red pepper
1 aubergine (eggplant)
1 medium carrot
1 cup (175g) cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt and pepper
for the pasta:
2 cups (175g) penne pasta (or any other pasta of choice, I used spelt penne)
for the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 medium red chilli – deseeded, and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
4 tbsp passata
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder – I used bouillon
pinch salt and pepper, to taste
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 220 C / 428 F
1. Firstly, prepare the vegetables. Slice the aubergine, courgette, red pepper and carrot into small, bite-sized chunks. Then, transfer them onto a large oven tray, and add in the cherry tomatoes. Next, drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, shake the tray, so that everything is evenly coated, and move the vegetables into the oven to roast for about 25 minutes.
2. Next, cook your pasta in accordance to the time remaining for the vegetables. The pasta I used takes 9 minutes. So, I filled a pan with water, and brought it to a boil 9 minutes before the vegetables were done, and added in the pasta to cook.
3. When there are about 5-6 minutes left for everything to cook, prepare the sauce. Place a large frying pan/wok onto a medium heat. Then, add in the olive oil, onion, garlic and chilli. Fry all of them together for about 2-3 minutes, until the onion turns golden. Then, add in the tomato puree and passata, followed by the cumin, cinnamon, vegetable stock, ginger, paprika and some salt and pepper. Stir everything together into a thick saucy consistency, and reduce to a low heat to keep warm.
4. At this point the vegetables and pasta should be cooked. Remove the pasta from the heat, drain and set aside. Then, remove the vegetables from the oven, and pour on top of the sauce, including any remaining liquid from the tray. Stir the vegetables into the sauce, and then pour in the pasta, stirring again until all is evenly coated. When this is done, remove the pan from the heat and serve!