Pasta is another one of winter’s comfort foods that I don’t actually eat all that often, but I certainly have friends and a husband who would like to eat it more frequently. But I will indulge them — and myself — more often if the pasta is dressed in an interesting, delicious and nourishing way. And in the winter, what better to toss pasta with than roasted vegetables?
This shell pasta I dressed up with a zesty combination of lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olives along with the roasted vegetables. This pasta is delicious served hot but also works just as well as a cold salad. I have no doubt that fresh grated Parmesan cheese would be tasty on this pasta, but I added a good helping of nutritional yeast to give it that pasta-friendly cheesiness in a vegan way — but feel free to substitute with Parmesan or omit the cheesiness altogether. My husband, who is the biggest pasta fan I know, was delighted with this.
Pasta Shells with Roasted Vegetables and Black Olives
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pitted black olives
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
2 teaspoons sriracha or hot sauce (optional)
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
In a large pot, cook the pasta in salted water until tender. Drain and return to the pot.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 425°.
In a large bowl, toss together the onion, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, salt and sesame oil. Spread the vegetables evenly onto the baking sheet.
Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip, then sprinkle with the thyme, garlic and lemon juice. Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until browned.
Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and chop.
Add the roasted vegetables to the cooked pasta, along with the sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olives, nutritional yeast and hot sauce if using. Give everything a good toss, season with more salt and some fresh cracked black pepper to taste.