Monday, March 26, 2007

Baked Pasta w/Roasted Vegetables

One of J's favorite meals is baked pasta. I made this dish recently when our friends Doug and DeDe from Tallahassee came to dinner. I had not seen them in 14 years, and James actually was just meeting them for the first time. It was a really fun night. So, here's how you make it:
First roast the vegetables. I used portabello mushroom, red onion, red pepper, scallions, and asparagus. Just lay the veggies on a baking sheet and cover with a mixture of 3 tablespoons lemon juice,3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with sea salt, herbs de provence, lemon pepper, and a sprig of fresh thyme. Roast the concoction at about 300 degrees for an hour.
Next, mix it all up: once the veggies are roasted (and your house is smelling great!), mix them in with the cooked pasta (enough to serve however many folks are eating!). Add about 4 ounces of goat cheese broken up and mixed into the pasta. Cut up fresh mozzarella and mix half of it in with the pasta and reserve half to lay across the top once everything is combined. Mix in a can or good marinara sauce. Sorry I'm not providing quantities, but it really depends on how much you are making. Glad I don't write recipes for a living! To add some juiciness, add about a 1/2 cup of half and half. Mix everything together well, then lay the second half of your mozzarella across the top.
Last, it's time to bake: In it goes for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees or until you see that the top layer of mozzarella is nice and melted on top. That's it! I served this with a green olive foccacia bread and an arugula salad and it was a hit.

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