This is a really simple, stress-free recipe that’s ready in 40 minutes. The oven does most of the work: all you need to do is check on things every now and again. I know that all pasta shapes seem the same, but penne is especially good. It’s guaranteed to make a delicious Wednesday supper.
For the pesto, pine nuts can be substituted with cheaper but equally delicious cashews. While some of the ingredients are expensive, they’ll actually stretch much further than a jar of shop-bought pesto.
You’ll get three portions from this: two for dinner and a smaller portion for lunch.
Pesto Penne with Roasted Vegetables
- 75g (3oz) penne pasta
- 1 red pepper, chopped into large strips
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped into large strips
- 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, whole
- 3-4 whole cloves of garlic
- 1 aubergine or 1 courgette, or a mixture of both (optional), chopped into cubes
- Olive oil
- A handful of toasted pine nuts, optional (cook under a grill for a 2-3 minutes or in the oven for 5 minutes)
- A large handful of fresh basil
- 25g pine nuts or cashews
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 25g parmesan or peccorino cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas Mark 4
- Place the chopped onions and the whole garlic in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Cook in a preheated oven for 5 minutes
- After five minutes add the peppers, tomatoes and (optional) courgettes or aubergines. Sprinkle with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper
- Roast the vegetables for about 20 minutes or until cooked. Check half-way through. Be careful not to overcook – the vegetables should maintain some bite.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pesto: simply mix all the ingredients together in a blender
- When the vegetables have been in the oven for 10 minutes, and about 10 minutes before they are ready, cook the pasta as per packet instructions: this should take about 7-10 minutes. If the pasta is cooked before the vegetables, simply leave it to one side – it doesn’t need to be hot for this dish
- Finally, mix together the pasta, pesto, and roasted vegetables. To finish, try sprinkling with toasted pine nuts and some freshly grated parmesan