Today I bring you a plate of fusilli pasta. It is chewy because it is made of brown rice, but also because my darling husband, a gifted cook, made it a little too al dente for my taste. It has a strong whiff of garlic because there is a whole clove nestled in there, lending its roasted flavor to the vegetables. And this is a colorful dish of pasta because it contains golden beets, sweet potato, fennel, carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. Oh, did I mention that the vegetables are roasted to golden perfection?
I am a fan of Melissa at The Traveler’s Lunchbox and one of her recipes caught my eye. But I wasn’t in the mood for a creamy pasta sauce. I did want the vegetables nice and roasted, though. So I started with her recipe and made it my own halfway through.
1 head of fennel
1 sweet potato
12 cherry tomatoes
4 golden beets
2 celery sticks
1 clove garlic, medium sized, unpeeled
1 – 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
1 – 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
- Preheat the open to 360 F.
- Cut up the vegetables into uniform little cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl with garlic, thyme and fennel seeds. Add olive oil and mix/toss thoroughly with clean hands.
- Spread the vegetables-oil-seasoning mixture on a baking sheet (I needed two) in a single layer.
- Roast for roughly 40 minutes. Check periodically to ensure that the vegetables or the garlic don’t char or burn.
- Voila, roasted vegetables are ready! Remove the garlic clove and take off the peel. If you can wish, you can add it back to the vegetables or keep it out.
You can throw them over pasta (like we did), mix them up with quinoa or millet, add to a platter of basmati rice pulao…. make them your own! Keep in mind, the vegetables are not salted, so add salt/pepper accordingly as you use them in your dish.
Melissa’s recipe mentioned the roasting temperature as 400 F but when I placed the baking sheets in the oven, they began to warp. So I reduced the temperature to 360 F.
I will not use celery for roasting next time. It turns stringy and tough.
Roasted garlic is delicious! It has a burnt sweetness to it that is mild yet memorable.
I enjoyed the soft sweetness of the beets and the sweet potatoes. I know that these are not commonly used pasta ingredients but I think they worked well in this dish.