gardening. cooking. everyday echols family spectacles.
Last week I experienced a rare lapse in my desire to cook anything at all… seriously, I had spent all day digging and redigging my garden beds and as far as I was concerned, dinner could cook itself a.k.a. “Hey babe, I know you just got home from work but you’re cooking tonight, ok? Ok.” Unfortunately for me, however, I WAS STARVING and the hubster was working late…
Solution = roasted veggies and pasta! I can think of no other easier dish that doesn’t come from a box :P You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand so no pressure.
After the bicep-building earlier that day, I thought a little protein was in order. And thus, the almonds! This combo turned out AMAZINGLY better than expected so thought I’d share my new go-to-lazy-dish-love with other potential-lazy-dayers :)
Penne with Roasted Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Garlic, and Almonds
Start-to-finish ~ 40 minutes
8 oz penne pasta (2 1/2 cups when cooked)
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, chunked
1/2 cup ground almonds
handful fresh spinach, chopped
1/3 cup parmesan, shredded
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tomatoes, peppers, and garlic peel-side-down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle to taste with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper, and basil. Bake at 400 degrees on middle oven rack for ~30 minutes until veggies are soft and toasted but not charred.
2) While veggies are roasting, cook pasta as directed (and if you are as exhausted as I was, take a quick cat nap in the interim :P). Drain MOST of the pasta water off when finished cooking but save about a 1/3 cup of the liquid.
3) When veggies and pasta are both finished, throw veggies, pasta, pasta-water, almonds, spinach, and parmesan in a large bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy. See, I told you, easy-peasy :)
Summer – Experiment by adding some diced beets, eggplant, or green beans to the roasting mix. Also don’t beat yourself up for sticking to the “original” recipe as peppers and tomatoes are at their peak in the summer :) I’d also be curious to see what would happen if you through in some fresh avocado… oh the possibilities!
Fall – Peppers and eggplants are still a-going in the fall so yay! Also give brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and winter squash and/or pumpkin a try.
Winter – Beets, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and other root veggies are great when roasted – you might even get some root-veggie converts by sneaking them in here :) Also try subbing in kale for the spinach.
Spring – Asparagus, beets, and mushrooms could be roasted up and tossed in and experiment with other early-spring greens in place of the spinach… or just stick with the spinach because it’s a springtime veggie itself :) Also try topping with some freshly chopped green onions – YUM!