Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

I love pasta, and I am always looking for different ways to prepare it.  So, for these hot summery days I thought pasta salad would be appropriate, but I didn’t want the same boring old recipe.

Typically, I just chop up broccoli florets, cut grape tomatoes in half, cube up cheese and maybe ham.  Toss with some sort of an Italian dressing and Salad Supreme.  That is super easy and delish for sure but I wanted something different.

Enter roasted vegetables!

I chopped a half each of a red and yellow bell pepper, and in a bowl they went.  Added about 1 cup of whole grape tomatoes and about 2 cups of broccoli florets.  I also added a handful of sugar snap peas, but in hind sight I probably won’t do that again.  I coated the veggies with extra virgin olive oil, salt and peppered them well and spread them out on my baking pan.

I use a baking stone (with sides) to roast my veggies and I absolutely love it!  The pan doesn’t look very clean but it is!  Don’t judge!

Popped them in the oven at 350 until they were tender, and roasted well.  Maybe about 30 minutes.

While the veggies roasted, I cooked my pasta, I used about a half of a box of penne.  To the water I added a large sprig of thyme from my garden to flavor the pasta.  It was a lovely hint of flavor and I will definitely be doing this again!!

When the pasta was cooked al dente, I drained it and put in a large bowl.  I removed the skins from the peppers and cut them into smaller pieces and added them to the pasta.  I put all the veggies into the bowl along with the oil from the pan.

To that I also added about ¼ cup of jarred sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, along with about a tablespoon of the oil from that jar.  I love sun dried tomatoes, they give any recipe a little boost of flavor.

I added just a sprinkling of thyme and tore up some basil to top the pasta salad and gave it a good toss.  I also topped the plated salad with some grated parmesan cheese.

This recipe is so versatile, you can use any veggies that you want.  You can mix up your herbs and try different spices too.

I think this would be wonderful with some herb infused olive oil too.

Give it a try, but if you want the recipe for what I did, here it is:

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

½ Red Bell Pepper, seeds removed

½ Yellow Bell Pepper, seeds removed

1 cup Grape tomatoes, whole

2 cups Broccoli Florets

1 cup Sugar Snap Peas

¼ cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, jarred, chopped

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Penne Pasta, half of a box

Large sprig of Thyme to cook the pasta, reserve some thyme flakes to add to the finished dish

About 5 Basil leaves, torn

Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Toss all the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper, season well and use enough oil to be able to coat the pasta salad when combining in the serving bowl.

Cook the pasta, add the thyme to the cooking water.

Remove the skin from the roasted peppers, cut in smaller pieces and add to the cooked and drained pasta.  Pour in the rest of the veggies along with the oil from the pan.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and basil.

Toss and top each serving with grated parmesan cheese.

This will last a few days in the fridge and serves 2.

Enjoy!

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Shrimp and Penne Pasta with a Tomato Basil Sauce

My basil plants are growing like crazy this year!  I think I have basil bushes, and I am not complaining, I LOVE basil!!  But, I can’t use it fast enough.

I made this  tomato basil sauce a few times already.  So yummy!

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It’s a thick pink sauce and works best on a penne, you can use whatever pasta you have on hand but when I make a thick sauce like this, I bring out the penne!

This recipe makes 2 servings.  Since I made this for just myself I plenty of leftovers.

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It’s a pretty easy and basic recipe, easy to increase for more servings.

If you don’t care for the sauce being thick, substitute tomato sauce for tomato paste.  You really cannot mess this up!

My store had frozen shrimp on sale, cooked, shelled and deveined, so that’s what I used this time.  You can use whatever you want or have on hand, just make sure you cook the shrimp first before you make the sauce.

The first time I made this, I used raw shrimp, so I started with a little olive oil in the pan and sautéed the shrimp until done.

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To the cooked shrimp, add the tomato paste, half and half, and chopped sundried tomatoes, stirring to blend together and heat through.  If the sauce is a little too thick, add a little bit of the pasta water.

Toss in the torn basil and serve.  Top with shredded parmesan and more torn basil.

 

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Here’s the recipe:

Cooked shrimp, about 8-10 large or about 1-1/2 cups small

1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

1/2 cup half and half, plus more to thin out if you like

2-3 T tomato paste, or use about 1 cup tomato sauce for a thinner sauce

about 15 fresh basil leaves

Grated parmesan cheese for topping

Start your pasta, when the pasta is almost cooked, start your sauce.  If using raw shrimp, sauté in olive oil until cooked. Add all of the above ingredients to the shrimp, except the basil.  After the sauce has combined and is heated through, tear up about 10 basil leaves and add to the sauce.

Drain the pasta, place in 2 serving bowls and spoon the sauce over the pasta.  Top with remaining basil leaves and cheese.

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