Roasted vegetables… my recent addiction. Recently I’ve been enjoying the simple taste of roasted vegetables seasoned with only a few ingredients. It’s very easy to make: wash, chop, coat with olive oil, and watch your oven do the rest of the work! They make for a satisfying, healthy, light lunch or side.
The three roasted vegetable dishes that I’ve found myself making over and over the past few weeks are roasted cauliflower topped with a home-made tahini sauce (recipe to come), roasted onions/bell peppers/ broccoli/asparagus topped with a Fig Balsamic Vinegar from Baker & Olive, and this Italian recipe which I’m sharing with all of you today.
Penne w/ Roasted Eggplant and Caramelized Onions tossed with a Tomato-Garlic-Basil Sauce.
This recipe was created through trial and error. In efforts to use up some home-grown eggplant, I tried roasting them and adding them to several dishes, but realized that although the roasted eggplant tasted great on their own, they didn’t quite go well with my balsamic vinegars or traditional simple seasonings. So, I decided to toss them into a pasta dish. I recalled a restaurant my husband and I would frequent in Little Italy, San Diego, where I loved this pasta with simple grilled vegetables and tomatoes, of which the eggplant was the highlight. The soft texture of the eggplant absorbed the sauce and flavors well. I wasn’t quite sure whether they fried or baked the eggplant in the dish. In any case, I intended on creating a baked version of that pasta. Additionally, I decided to caramelize some onions, because I knew the sweetness would go great with the earthy, roasted flavor of the eggplants. For the sauce, I wanted to keep it simple. I did not have fresh tomatoes on hand to make my spicy tomato sauce (recipe coming soon), but I did have a can of diced tomatoes so decided to quickly throw together a garlic-tomato-basil pasta sauce.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily multi-task, having the different components of the dish cooking all at once. First, I prep and chop all the ingredients. Then, once the eggplant is roasting in the oven, you can easily set one pot to make your sauce, and another pan to caramelize your onions. Everything should be done cooking at more-or-less the same time. Finally, cook your pasta and toss everything together for a delicious vegan pasta dish. My entire family loved it, and I found another great dish using roasted vegetables.