That picture has nothing to contribute to the recipe. It can only be the evidence to show why I feel lethargic to go to the kitchen these days. This is our back yard garden, a piece of land put to aesthetic use by the previous home owner. I bow down in gratitude and spend a good part of Summer days lazing around with some drink and complaining there is no time to make a full course dinner.
I consider it a blessing to watch our garden blooming in different shades and scents. It is a handkerchief sized lot but it teams with life. There are chirping birds, buzzing bumble bees, rainbow winged flies, jewel like bugs and even a cute little chipmunk that eats from the bird feeder. Some strange visitors sneak in at night to inspect the place. One evening, I shocked a skunk and it dispersed its nasty stink in the air for a while. The other day, I turned on a light and surprised a raccoon that scurried into the darkness. I spend a considerable amount of time out there, drinking morning coffee, iced drinks or evening tea in the midst of such lovely company. One of my many simple pleasures of life!
I do whip up a quick meal like this when I have the urge to cook. Baked vegetable pasta is a one dish meal without any other accompaniments. It is a Summer time food when basil is growing in the garden and fresh vegetables fill the markets and you don’t want to toil in the kitchen. I added a heck lot of vegetables to make it really wholesome. There is also a good heap of pesto action in it to bring everything together. Chopping the veggies is the main task, then it is the mixing of all the goodness.
- 2 zucchini
- 1 medium egg plant
- 8 mushrooms
- few pieces of carrot
- few broccoli
- 1 medium tomato
- ½ green pepper/ Capsicum
- ½ cup basil pesto
- 1½ cup whole wheat pasta ( preferably Rotini, as the pesto sticks well in the grooves)
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil to spray
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven at 350° F.
- Spread foil on a baking tray and spray vegetable oil.
- Roast sliced zucchini, egg plant and carrot on the foil in a single layer with a dash of salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until it is cooked and slightly browned.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy bottom pan and sauté mushroom, broccoli and green pepper until all water evaporates.
- Remove the roasted vegetables from the baking tray and add to the pan.
- Make basil pesto. (Basil pesto recipe here .)
- Boil water in a pan and add salt.
- Add pasta to the boiling water and cook uncovered for 10 minutes till al dente. (It should be cooked to retain its firmness but not hard for chewing.)
- Drain the water form the pasta and collect ½ cup of that water.
- Add the pasta to the vegetables in the pan and add chopped tomato.
- Pour the pasta water into the pan and mix well.
- Add pesto and give it a good stir to coat everything in its richness.
- Turn off the stove and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Serve warm veggie pasta after it rests for a while.
This pasta has the aroma of roasted vegetables and the pesto makes it quite moist. I like this because it is easy to make and my family loves it. It is a very satisfying, tasty meal worth a try.