19 February 2009

Comfort food at its finest

This was never meant to be a food blog, although I do have love affairs with both cooking and eating, so it seems natural to post a great recipe now and then.

Here is a dish I made last night that definitely ought to be shared. It is a delicious vegetarian main dish, but is not by any means a very healthy, diet friendly one. But since it's loaded with so many veggies, they might just cancel out the butter, cream, and cheese that make it so yum.

Roasted Veggie Pasta
the idea for the recipe originated from Taste of Home magazine, but has been modified quite a bit by yours truly
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1/2 red onion, cut in large pieces
1/2 red pepper, cut in large pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 lb. fusilli pasta
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup cream (half & half would also do fine)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (you could also use fresh)
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese (I also added a bit of sharp cheddar)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1) Cover a large sheet pan with foil. Toss all veggies generously with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on the pan. (Do not add the asparagus until the last 5 minutes)Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2) While veggies are roasting, boil water and cook fusilli until barely al dente. (It will continue to cook in the oven, so don't overcook it at this early stage). Drain.
3) In large saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook for one minute, then whisk in cream, tomatoes and garlic powder (you can use 1 clove of fresh garlic, but might want to sautee it a bit with the butter first). Simmer until thickened, then remove from heat and mix in cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4) Mix cheese sauce with pasta and veggies, pour in casserole dish and sprinkle on more parmesan cheese if desired. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4.

The original recipe called for fontina cheese, but I had gruyere in my fridge, so I used that instead. There are so many other veggies that would be really good in this recipe--butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, or mushrooms are a few I thought of. It might even be good with a little fresh basil added to the cream sauce.



Ilene said...

Dairy is good for your bones.

Subsequently, I have nice big bones.

Jen I said...

I wish that was on my table right now. I'm definitely in that don't-want-to-make-dinner mode and that looks yummy.