Grace really adores roasted vegetables. She has come a long way since repeatedly turning her nose up to any type of pureed vege!
Before we began our baby led weaning journey I never would have imagined I’d see the day when Grace would perch in her high chair and happily gobble down a lovely little pile of roasted vegetables but watching her today at lunch pick up shards of golden roasted capsicum, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and eggplant and devour them in between bites of pesto covered penne I have to admit I felt like one happy mama. I am not sure if it’s because Grace sees me eagerly enjoying the vege filled pasta dish or whether its the intensified sweetness of the vegetables thanks to the roasting process that has her smitten but I am happy nonetheless.
For me, creating this type of pasta dish is a pleasure mostly because its an absolute breeze to prepare. This dish is basically a combination of cooked pasta and roasted mediterranean vegetables all stirred together with a little helping of basil pesto. To finish I grate over a little parmesan and that’s it. Dinner done. And its the perfect pasta dish for a meat-free monday!
To create your own roasted mediterranean vegetable penne simply…
Start by arranging the sliced zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and cherry tomatoes on a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and pop into a 200°C oven to roast for 30-40 minutes or until cooked, slightly charred and wonderfully caramelised.
Meanwhile, cook the penne or any other type of short pasta (fusilli, rigatoni, rollini) in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl along with a couple of heaped tablespoons of bright green wonderfully fragrant basil pesto. Stir to combine.
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and gently fold through the pesto coated penne.
To serve, sprinkle with a little fresh parsley and a generous helping of grated reggiano.
roasted mediterranean vegetable penne
serves 4, with leftovers for lunch
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
1 punnet (250 grams) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 grams penne (or any other type of short pasta)
2-3 heaped tablespoons pesto
fresh parsley and grated parmesan, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Arrange eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and cherry tomatoes on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked and slightly charred.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook penne according to packet instructions. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Add pesto and stir to combine. Gently fold through the roasted vegetables.
To serve sprinkle with a little chopped fresh parsley and a heaping of grated parmesan.
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