Roasted Vegetables with Your Pasta Anyone?
Every vegan I know loves pasta. And most of my vegan friends love to roast vegetables. Roasting seems to bring out way more flavor in many vegetables than either steaming or sautéing. So, if you love both of these things, why not combine them?
Here’s what I do… I make a very simple tomato sauce on top of the stove. I usually slowly simmer two 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes along with a couple cloves of finely-chopped or pressed garlic and generous amounts of dried or fresh Italian herbs (thyme, oregano, basil). I’ll usually add a squeeze of sriracha sauce just to make things interesting. Sliced mushrooms and/or Kalamata olives are good choices to include as well. As the mixture cooks down I add vegetable broth as needed to make up some of the liquid.
While the sauce is cooking I set the oven to “roast” (where both the bake and broil elements are on), and the temperature to about 380°. I put a little olive oil in a large pan, add my chopped veggies, stir to coat them well, and pop them in the oven. I like to use a lower shelf so the broiler element isn’t too intense. Just like I’d do on top of the stove, I add the longest-to-cook veggies (onions) first, medium-cooking veggies (peppers, broccoli) a little later, and more delicate veggies (asparagus) last, stirring often, until they are browned and delicious.
When everything is done I mix the pasta and sauce in a bowl and then add the roasted veggies on top for a dramatic presentation. Mighty tasty—especially when served with vegan Parmesan “cheese” on the side.
Here are some variations you may want to try as well:
- Try roasted vegetables on top of your favorite commercially-prepared spaghetti sauce. They’ll really perk up the flavor!
- Whole cloves of garlic are great in this recipe. Add them right at the beginning with the onions. They’ll come out creamy and flavorful.
- Eggplant is terrific in this recipe as well. Cut it in thin slices and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the slices with olive oil and put them under the broiler for just a few minutes, until brown. Flip, brush and broil the other side. Watch carefully so the slices get crispy but not burned. This is one of my favorite ways to serve eggplant!
- Got a grill? Mmmm! Grill your vegetables for even more flavor!
Author: Mark W. Reinhardt
Mark Warren Reinhardt is an attorney and author who has been writing and lecturing on veganism and animal rights issues for longer than anyone can remember. His book, “The Perfectly Contented Meat-Eater’s Guide to Vegetarianism” was published by Continuum in 1998. Mark has previously served on the boards of the Vegetarian Society of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Animal Defense, and Divine Feline, as well as a number of other nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Mark holds degrees in engineering and law from Duke, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. He lives in Denver with his cat Elgie.