Friday, September 18, 2009

Linguine with Roasted Summer Vegetables

OMG, this is the most amazing vegetarian pasta dish. Ever. I first had this at my friend's house, about a month ago. There were about 5 of us together for a "West Wing" mini-marathon. Our hostess, Merrily, and her sister-in-law, Judy, put this together in about an hour. It was presented in a beautiful 10 x 13 inch pan; we loved it so much there was hardly anything left. We each went back for second and third helpings. And then I asked Merrily for the recipe.

The Ingredients:

1) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2) garlic
3) balsamic vinegar
4) cherry tomatoes
5) asparagus
6) zucchini
7) summer squash
8) red bell pepper
9) scallions
10) extra-virgin olive oil
11) Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
12) linguine

It is from the website. I've made dishes from them before; they are generally good. I don't often make their stuff because the ingredients tend to be just a bit too pricey for my budget. For instance, this recipe calls for balsalmic vinegar. Now, the quality of balsamic vinegar varies from brand to brand and as this is such a simple recipe, the quality of the ingredients is very important. Merrily used a fantastic, top-of-the-line Balsamic from Williams-Sonoma, courtesy of Judy. Wow. It's amazing; the resulting linguine dish was out-of-this-world. I used the Pompeii Balsamic vinegar as I already had it in the pantry. It's a good balsamic vinegar, although certainly not as good as the one from Williams-Sonoma. The Pompeii brand was still very good in this recipe. So, anyway, the point is, buy the best balsamic you can afford, it's worth it for this dish. Even the Costco brand would work well here.

My Changes:
I did skimp a bit on the veggies; that is, the amounts I purchased vs. the amount specified in the recipe. That was mostly because the veggies were either pre-packaged (i.e. the cherry tomatoes and the asparagus) or the bulk produce just didn't weight in correctly. So I chose to buy a bit less whenever there was a difference. This is one of those cases in which too many veggies is better than not enough. I still mixed the cooked veggies with the 1 lb of pasta, and there was Too. Much. Pasta.

One last note. I made this with spagetti rather than linguine. It's better with the linguine; I don't know what, after all, they are both long, skinny pastas. But I liked it better with the linguine and so that's how I will make it from now on.


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