A few weeks ago, I arranged a spur of the moment Friday girls dinner with my dear friends Crystal & Meredith. I wanted something easy and fresh and we were all in the mood for pasta. I searched the largest cookbook I know of (the internet) and with a little creativity and a collaborative effort amongst a handful of recipes I discovered, I managed to cook up a small pasta miracle. The only thing that took time was slow roasting the vegetables but that just left some extra time to sip our wine and catch up on life and love.
Roasted Vegetable Rigatoni
- 1 large eggplant
- 4 vine ripened tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion
- 6 cloves of garlic
- Baby spinach
- Fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb. whole wheat rigatoni
- Romano cheese to sprinkle on top
Set oven at 400 degrees. Start with eggplant, tomatoes and onion. Cut up the vegetables in large chunks and spread them out on an oven safe tray/dish/etc. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss together to be sure that the vegetables are equally coated and seasoned. Place the whole garlic cloves (un-peeled) in with the vegetables and roast at 400 for about 40 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, wash baby spinac
h and set aside along with fresh chopped basil. When the vegetables are done, remove the garlic and transfer the rest of the vegetables to a large serving bowl. The garlic will be soft and should easily squeeze out of the peel. Place that in a small mixing bowl and mash it up then add the 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar. Whisk it together and set aside. When pasta is cooked, toss in with vegetables and add the spinach and basil. The
warm pasta and vegetables wilt the spinach and basil. Mix in the olive oil and balsamic and serve with Romano cheese to garnish.