An Italian pasta bowl, brimming with healthy vegetables and a bit of smooth saucy pasta ... mmmm!
This week's Mediterranean theme was an easy fix for this lazy girl. Summertime is here and I am all about lazing around the gardens, poking at plants, picking flowers, pulling weeds, and plugging up 'holes' in the flowerbeds. If I can whack up some vegetables, throw them in the oven for a while, and come back later to do a little added prep work in order to make a satisfying supper ... well, hurray!
This little Nigel Slater meatless pasta dish was just the thing! To boot, the markets have had these lovely bags of mini-sweet peppers in tricolors and all the cherry tomatoes are starting to really come on too. Fresh basil from the garden is beginning to become plentiful too; those are three Mediterranean flavours that work super well together, don't you think? Nigel does! His little vid was sweet to watch ... I'm including the link below ...
This was such a pretty dish from the start. All those warm colors and the fresh basil make for lushness. I was a bit stingy on the olive oil drizzle, but the juices still worked with the oil to make a sauce that was wonderful tossed with the cooked pasta.
I also 'jacked' the basil sauce up by making more of a traditional pesto. I added pignoli, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese to the 'basil and olive oil dressing' that Nigel suggests. It remained atop the roasting peppers and tomatoes rather than oozing down through and around the vegetables, but had incredible taste when I got a concentrated bite with the peppers and pasta!
This dish sat in the oven for just about an hour, all told. When the peppers and tomatoes were blackened a bit and starting to really cave in to a soft mess, on went the basil pesto and back in the oven for a bit more of a roast while the pasta cooked.
Voila! The roasties get placed gently on a warm platter, and the cooked pasta - orecchiette, in this case, gets tossed in the roasting pan juices with a bit more fresh basil. Then, bowls of vegetables and pasta on the sunny back porch with copious red wine and cherries and chocolate for dessert ... I love summertime suppers! To see the recipe, hit the link I provided above ... I liked watching the video because I love Nigel's presentation and enthusiasm on camera, but you can get a quick read if that's your pleasure.
More Mediterranean fare can be seen by seeing the links at this week's I Heart Cooking Club Nigel Slater Mediterranean themed party! Check it out and think about joining us as we continue to honor Slater's recipes.