This is from our former blog Year of Healthier Living. I’ve been thinking about this dish and can’t wait to make it again!
Did you know that there is an Italian Food Day? I have no idea why this isn’t an entire month–I know I could do it. In spite of the Americanized version of Italian food, which tends to be very heavy on the cheese and meat, most Italian food in Italy is locally-based, impossibly fresh and creatively resourceful. I know this because I once tried to eat my way across Tuscany (I am an expert–don’t try this at home).
This is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dishes. It is delicious, healthy and easy to make. Plus it uses up a lot of random vegetables that may be living in the refrigerator. This recipe is actually based on a dish made by The Cake Boss (go figure!) and its simple beauty comes from using whatever fresh, seasonal vegetables are available. Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural flavor and sweetness without any additives other than olive oil and salt. That is truly Italian cooking!
You can vary this dish throughout the seasons by using what is ripe and delicious at the time. You can also vary the
pasta you use. I like orecchiete (little ears) pasta because it holds the sauce well. As a mom, I think this is one of those healthy, versatile recipes that could be a regular (and by changing it up, maybe no one will notice I am basically recycling the same dish). Score!
- 1 lb. fresh pasta (we used orecchiete pasta)
- 1 organic onion
- 2 organic tomatoes
- 2 c. organic broccoli florets
- 3 organic carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3″ planks
- 2 c. cubed organic butternut squash
- 2 handfuls of kale (from our garden!) or other greens–arugula is good, too!
- About 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (we used Hillsborough Cheese Co. garlic and chive ricotta)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pignolis (pine nuts), parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
- Put a stock pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
- Cut all vegetables except kale into bite sized chunks and toss with olive oil and a little kosher salt and pepper.
- Chop kale into little bite sized pieces and reserve.
- Put all vegetables except kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Add kale to pan during last 5 minutes.
- While vegetables roast, add pasta to the boiling water and cook to al dente. When pasta is done, reserve 1 c. pasta water for sauce and drain pasta.
- In a large bowl, add cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, kale, ricotta and pasta water and mix together. The cheese should melt and make a light sauce. The pasta water is essential and will thicken the sauce and help it stick to the pasta.
- Serve with pignolis (pine nuts), parmesan or whatever makes you happy!