Thursday, 23 May 2013

Roasted Vegetable Pasta recipe

Proving that vegetarian doesn't have to mean healthy, this tasty pasta recipe is pretty high in dairy badness so probably should be a once-in-a-while meal rather than a regular choice! Quantities below serve two or could be stretched to three if you offset the dairy by also serving a fresh green salad.

4 tbsp olive oil
1 courgette
1 red pepper
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp lemon juice
5 oz pasta penne (or other shapes)
200ml creme fraiche
1-2 tsp English mustard
2 oz strong cheddar cheese.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Cut the courgette and pepper into sticks which are about half a cm square at the ends and as long as you like. Finely slice the garlic. Put the three into a roasting dish and toss with the oil, herbs and lemon juice until all the veg is evenly coated. Roast for 15-20 mins until the veggies are soft and ends of the pepper sticks are starting to blacken.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a saucepan that is large enough to fit all the ingredients. Drain pasta and return it to the pan over a low heat. Hopefully the pasta will be done at about the same time as the veggies finish roasting, in which case remove them from the oven and stir them in with the pasta.

Add the creme fraiche, mustard and grated cheese to the pan and stir gently until all the cheese has melted into the sauce. I like to use the +Yeo Valley Half Fat creme fraiche. It comes in a 200g pot which is perfect for this recipe and it has a nice light taste.

Serve with a green salad or hunks of fresh bread.

This recipe is very flexible in that any type of pasta shapes can be used so it's good for using up ends of bags. Also, the mustard doesn't have to be English - I've used wholegrain before - you would just need to adjust the amount depending on its strength and, of course, your liking for mustard! We normally cheddar in the fridge, but I think any similar textured cheese would work just as well if that's what you have. It doesn't matter if it's begun to go a bit hard at the edges so, again, use up odds & ends and experiment.

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