Roasted Vegetables with Orecchiette Pasta is the perfect flavorful recipe to please the entire family. They are made with freshly roasted veggies to maximize the flavor and a simple sauce to enhance the pasta and tie everything in for the perfect healthy meal.
The fresh veggies are drizzled with a light extra-virgin olive oil, then placed in a 400 Degree F oven to roast for 15 minutes, making the veggies much taste sweeter and far more intense. Then everything is combined with the Orecchiette pasta and a simple yet flavorful Lemon-Basil Sauce, for a dinner that’s super healthy and meat-free.
I love this recipe for Roasted Vegetables with Orecchiette Pasta as is; however, my husband likes it with a meat protein, which you can always add as an optional ingredient- such as Chicken or Shrimp if desired. Or you can enjoy it as I do as a Meat-free dish. Either option is delicious and bursting with bite after bite of delightful flavor. This dish can easily be made 100% Vegetarian by using a vegetarian cheese option or simply not adding the cheese.
I wanted to use up the all ingredients which I had on hand in the refrigerator, such as broccoli, cauliflower, yellow and red grape tomatoes, leftover sauteed spinach, and fresh garlic. However, there are a ton of veggie options you can combine for this dish. So, by all means, have a little fun and experiment with the veggies you enjoy.
- Red bell peppers
- Yellow squash
One of the most critical steps to this recipe for Roasted Vegetables with Orecchiette Pasta is making a delicious yet straightforward sauce. You will want to use fresh, quality ingredients here. Take a few moments extra time picking out your ingredients and the veggies, and it will make all the difference in the world when whipping up this recipe.
- Not all light extra-virgin olive oils are created equal. Use a quality brand that is organic and cold-pressed for the best results, or you will find your oil has a slightly bitter taste to it. You need top-quality olive oil for this recipe.
- Use fresh juicy lemons, not concentrated lemon juice. Concentrated lemon juice and fresh lemon juice are apples to oranges in comparison to one another.
- Shop for local produce at the market when possible; if you can afford it, splurge on the organic produce. The fresher, the better.
- Fresh basil is a must for this recipe; the dried version won’t cut it in this dish, nor will the recipe taste as it should.
- Use only fresh spinach leaves for this recipe for optimal flavor and taste.
Shopping list for the recipe:
- Orecchiette Pasta
- Fresh Cauliflower
- Fresh Broccoli
- Grape Tomatoes
- Fresh Spinach leaves
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Head or bulb of Garlic
- Fresh lemons
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Basil leaves
- Parmesan Cheese
- Pine Nuts
- Kosher Salt
- Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 pound Orecchiette Pasta Cooked al dente per package
- 2½ cups Fresh Cauliflower Florets
- 2½ cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
- 1 pint Fresh Grape Tomatoes Halved
- 6 cloves Fresh Garlic Chopped
- ¼ cup Olive oil To roast veggies only
- 1-8- ounce-bag Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
- ½ cup Organic Cold-Pressed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil + more if needed for the sauce
- 1 large Ponderosa Lemon (Juice and zest of) Or 2 regular lemons juice and zest of.
- ¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup Finely chopped fresh parsley
- 8-10 small Freshly torn basil leaves Young and tender leaves are best
- Kosher salt to own taste
- 1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes Optional
- ¼ cup Pine Nuts Optional
Preheat the oven to 400° Degrees F and begin to boil a Pasta pot of salted water on high heat.
Meanwhile, prepare and measure all veggies while the oven is heating and water comes to a full boil.
Place the fresh-cut broccoli florets, the fresh-cut cauliflower florets, the halved grape tomatoes, and chopped garlic on a large pre-treated baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil over the veggies and season with kosher salt. Gently toss to coat evenly and then roast the veggies for 15-17 minutes on 400°- once done remove from the oven and place on a heat-resistant area until needed.
After the water has come to a full boil cook the pasta until al dente- use the package direction to gauge cooking time for the pasta. Once the pasta has cooked, reserve ½ a cup of the pasta water for later, drain the pasta.
In a large metal skillet heat the extra-virgin olive oil until just warm, add the spinach leaves, cook until just slightly wilted, then add the roasted veggies, drained pasta, lemon juice, lemon zest, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley. torn basil leaves, season with Kosher salt, and red crushed pepper flakes. Toss lightly to combine. Top with Pine Nuts and extra Parmesan cheese before serving if desired.
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