Creamy Balsamic Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Perhaps due to my penchant for dabbing peppermint oil on my wrists during heat waves or perhaps because I wait all year for the mint in our garden to multiply so that Fred can make me mojitos but there’s nothing quite like mint to signify to my taste buds that summer is here! Well, mint and a beautiful array of roasted summer vegetables. And because this dish features both a generous amount of mint and an array of summer’s finest fresh veggies, this is my optimal summer lunch or casual dinner. Ideally you’ll savor it slowly while sitting outside, glass of wine in hand, surrounded by tea lights in hurricane lamps, enjoying the conversation of close friends or the solitude of a good book. It’s a perfect meal to eat slowly, allowing yourself time to relish each bite – as it tastes just as lovely at room temperature, or even cold, as it does hot. Simply put, this simple to prepare dish is sure to become a mainstay of the Freds’ summer menu and once you give it a try we think you’ll see why…
Creamy Balsamic Pasta with Roasted Vegetables (adapted from this recipe)
Serves 6-8 as a main dish
Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand for the ones suggested here. I think broccoli would be great in place of the cauliflower and the eggplant could easily be replaced with summer squash.
1 lb pasta, bowties are nice!
1 head cauliflower, 1/4 inch florets
1 eggplant, 1/2 inch dice
1 large red onion, sliced into wedges
1 pint cherry or pear tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup packed mint, plus additional for garnish, minced
1/4 cup packed parsley, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
4 Tbs olive oil
6 Tbs balsamic vinegar
red pepper flakes to taste
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
4-5 Tbs. plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Toss your vegetables with olive oil and place in a single layer on several baking sheets. I like to put each vegetable on a different baking sheet as they tend to have slightly different roasting times. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove from the oven and shake or stir a bit then replace in the oven and continue roasting for an additional 10-20 minutes until nicely browned and caramelized.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water until al dente.
To make your sauce, combine your mint, parsley, olive oil, balsamic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together your goat cheese and yogurt.
When your pasta is finished cooking, toss with your prepared dressing as well as your goat cheese and yogurt. Stir until creamy and evenly dressed. Once your vegetables finish roasting add them to your pasta and stir to combine.
Serve at any temperature, garnished with additional minced mint.