Noodles with roast vegetables

    1 hour 5 min

    Oven-roasted vegetables, tender and scented with garlic, make a chunky dressing that is great with wide noodles. A sprinkling of crunchy sunflower seeds adds texture.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 1 aubergine, cut into large chunks
    • 2 courgettes, cut into large chunks
    • 2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
    • 1 green pepper, quartered and deseeded
    • 4 ripe tomatoes, halved
    • 2 red onions, quartered
    • 1 head garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled, plus 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • cayenne pepper
    • pepper to taste
    • For the pasta
    • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted sunflower seeds
    • low-sodium soy sauce to taste
    • 350g (12oz) wide noodles, such as reginette, lasagnette or pappardelle
    • 3 tbsp tomato purée, or to taste
    • handful of fresh basil leaves or parsley, coarsely chopped

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Arrange the aubergine, courgettes, red and green peppers, tomatoes, red onions and whole garlic cloves in a single layer in a large ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, a little cayenne pepper, half the chopped garlic, and some pepper to taste.
    2. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not soft and mushy, and are charred in places. Turn the vegetables once or twice during cooking.
    3. Lightly brush a frying pan with just a few drops of olive oil, then heat the pan. Add the sunflower seeds, and toss and turn them for a few moments until they begin to toast. Shake in a few drops of soy sauce and turn the seeds quickly, letting the soy sauce evaporate as the seeds toast and brown lightly. This should take 4–5 minutes in total. Remove from the heat just before the seeds are crisp and leave them to cool in the pan. They will crisp up as they cool.
    4. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain well and keep hot.
    5. Using a knife and fork, cut the roasted vegetables into bite-size chunks. Toss the vegetables and garlic with the remaining raw chopped garlic, the tomato purée, and basil or parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more pepper if required.
    6. Toss the pasta with the vegetables and serve immediately, sprinkled with the toasted sunflower seeds.

    Some more ideas

    *Crush a few saffron threads in a mortar using a pestle and add them to the roasted vegetables along with the tomato purée.
    *Serve topped with sesame seeds instead of toasted sunflower seeds.
    *Pumpkin seeds can also be used instead of sunflower seeds.

    Health points

    As well as all the benefits from the excellent mixture of vegetables in this dish, the sunflower seeds provide a useful source of iron, vitamin B1 and phosphorus.

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