A little while ago I went crazy with the oven and roasted anything and everything I could think of. OK, not exactly everything, but pretty close. Hopefully, because hope never dies down, the weather will start cooling down very soon and the oven will start working on overtime. I know I’m not the only one who thinks that oven roasted food is not only convenient but also always seems like a proper meal. It’s homey, cozy and comforting in a good way.
I never shun comfort food because once in a while we have to have it. When the notion of ‘clean eating’ is all over the internet right now (you know I disapprove but that is a whole other article) there is nothing better, in my book, than a whole roasted chicken, preferably two on the go, one for dinner, and one to pick at alone or to eat in sandwiches, or with some grains.
When life and general busy days get in the way, I see this simple revisited recipe as being in between a quick supper after a long day at work while still taking the time to cook a delicious meal. For the sake of completeness and because I promised one of my readers I would, I’m including the full version here.
For those really exhausting days, when everything you do seems like a massive chore, the solution is easy: just coat the veggies in oil and seasoning and pop in all on a baking tray in the oven. Add some ready-cooked lentils on the side or just quickly flash-fry a minute steak if you have it to hand, and you’re done. There’s so many options; you will not stay hungry for long.
For the roasted vegetables:
- 1 Aubergine, washed, top and tailed and chopped into half-rounds
- 1 – 2 courgettes, washed, top and tailed and chopped into rounds
- 2 Portobello mushrooms, washed and sliced thickly
- regular olive oil
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
For the pasta:
- 250g dried spaghettini*
For the cherry tomatoes:
- a few cherry tomatoes preferably on the vine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- regular olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash the aubergines, courgettes and mushrooms in cold water and pat them dry with a clean tea towel. Chop them and tip them in a big mixing bowl, liberally pouring in some regular olive oil.
Using your clean hands mix the vegetables with the olive oil. Make sure that all the vegetables are completely covered with a thin layer of oil. Add more if you feel the need to. Season with salt and pepper and give everything a good mix once again.
Tip the veggies on a non-stick roasting tray and place in the oven for around 30 minutes. They will take a little time to roast but it will be worth the wait. Keep an eye on them and I would suggest to give them a little nudge with a spatula after 20 minutes just to make sure they won’t stick to the tray when they’re done.
In the meantime boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
For the cherry tomatoes, sauté them in a shallow frying pan and season them with salt and pepper. Leave them until they turn slightly soft or until the flesh peaks a little from underneath the skin.
Drain the pasta once it’s cooked, tip it in the pot once again and add the roasted vegetables. Serve in bowls and top each serving with the sauteed tomatoes and a few drops of olive oil. Eat immediately.
The quantity of the pasta given here yields a very generous 2 servings.*