Roasted vegetable and pasta bake

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  • 1hr20min

About this recipe: A hearty vegetarian dish packed with flavour, this is ideal for a family meal or casual entertaining. A selection of vegetables – butternut squash, asparagus and leeks – is roasted in garlicky olive oil, then tossed with chunky pasta shapes and a cheesy sauce. The final baking is done in the roasting tin, which saves on washing up.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients

Serves: 4 

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 5 cm (2 in) cubes, about 450 g (1 lb) peeled weight
  • 2 red onions, cut into large chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) leeks, thickly sliced
  • 170 g (6 oz) asparagus spears, cut across in half
  • 300 g (10 1/2 oz) rigatoni or penne
  • 600 ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 75 g (2 1/2 oz) extra mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • salt and pepper

Method

Prep:35min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). Put the squash and red onions in a large roasting tin and scatter over the sliced garlic. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat the vegetables with the oil, then place the tin in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the tin from the oven and add the leeks and asparagus. Toss gently to mix with the other vegetables, then return to the oven. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Measure 4 tbsp of the cold milk into a jug, add the cornflour and stir to make a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan until almost boiling. Stir the hot milk into the cornflour mixture, then return to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat and add about two-thirds of the cheese and the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Take the tin of roasted vegetables from the oven. Drain the pasta well in a colander, then tip on top of the vegetables and stir to combine. Stir in the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.

Plus points

The bright orange flesh of butternut squash is an indicator of its high beta-carotene content. Squash is also a good source of vitamin C and a useful source of vitamin E. * Milk is one of the best sources of calcium in the diet. Calcium is a vital mineral needed to ensure strong, healthy bones and teeth, and for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. * Asparagus contains a phytochemical called asparagine, which has a strong diuretic effect. Herbalists recommend eating asparagus as a treatment for rheumatism and the bloating associated with PMT.

Another idea

To make roasted vegetable lasagne, combine the red onions and asparagus in a roasting tin and add 2 seeded and sliced red peppers and 3 thickly sliced courgettes. Toss with the garlic, oil and seasoning, then roast for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and lower it to 190ºC (375ºF, gas mark 5). Stir 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each, with their juices, into the vegetable mixture. In a rectangular ovenproof dish, measuring about 23 x 30 cm (9 x 12 in), layer the vegetable mixture with 200 g (7 oz) no-precook lasagne sheets, 150 g (5½ oz) roughly chopped feta cheese and 15 g (½ oz) shredded fresh basil, starting with a layer of vegetables and ending with a layer of lasagne. Season 300 ml (10 fl oz) fromage frais to taste, and stir in 25 g (scant 1 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Spread evenly over the top of the lasagne. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

Each serving provides

A, B1, C, folate, calcium * B6, B12, E, niacin, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc * B2

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Reviews (3)

kerri-anne
1

Easy to make and very tasty. I'll definately be making this again - 18 Jan 2011

amanda80
1

Used different ingredients. added peppers, mushrooms - 30 Jan 2010

amanda80
0

very tasty and easy to make - 30 Jan 2010

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