Lately, the weather has had me down in the dumps and craving winter fare…but today is a different story. The sun is shining and my spirits are up, which means I’ve been inspired to prepare some “summer” fare!
Lunch is all about channeling summer with this simple, refreshing pasta packed with roasted veggies and creamy pesto sauce.
One of my favourite ways to prepare vegetables is by roasting them. The caramelization gives them such a sweet flavour that baby (and you) will love! This recipe is perfect for the entire family to enjoy, whether you add the veggies to pasta, purée them to make a pasta “sauce ” (for those finicky eaters out there) or eat them on their own as a healthy side dish.
(Yields about 4 cups)
1 medium red onion
1 medium red pepper
1 large eggplant
2 medium zucchini
2 tbsp. homemade pesto (or store-bought)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish
pasta of choice (quantity as desired)
*I prepared the veggies then made “Ditali” for my son and some penne for my husband and I. TWO meals in one with tons of leftovers!
Set oven to 400 degrees.
Chop veggies into 1-2 inch cubes (the size doesn’t matter as long as they’re all uniform so they cook evenly). Place in a large baking sheet, add olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix (with your hands is best!) to coat all the veggies.
Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender then set aside.
In the meantime, (while the veggies are in the oven) bring water to a boil in a large pot then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
*TIP: Remember to add some salt (to taste) to the pasta water before adding the pasta to give it some extra flavour. No one (especially Italians) likes bland pasta!
Once the pasta is cooked, reduce the heat to low, drain the pasta (setting aside about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid) then return to the pot. Add the roasted veggies and pesto to the pot and warm through for a few minutes to combine all the flavours and coat the pasta.
*TIP: If the pasta is too dry simply add one tablespoon at a time of the cooking liquid, (which will make a “sauce”) until the pasta is well coated.
Although the veggies are soft enough for older babies to eat you also have the option to purée their portion of veggies or mash them with a fork before adding to the pasta.
Alternatively, purée the veggies in a food processor then store in baby cubes in the freezer. Defrost when needed and add to pasta, rice, or quinoa dishes.
Garnish with another dollop of pesto and some freshly grated Parmesan.