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I would eat pasta on a plane, on a train, in the rain, and certainly in Spain. In my humble opinion, it is the king in the carbohydrate world. It can be served hot or cold, with sauce or without. This gourmet pasta can be made in 20 minutes and is packed with enough flavor to make your taste buds dance. To make, combine your noodles with a bunch of roasted vegetables and smother them with a fig and walnut balsamic dressing.
To prepare, start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. While the oven warms, finely mince a clove of garlic and trim your Brussels sprouts. I like to slice off the root end, remove the outer leaves, and then chop the sprouts in half.
Drizzle the sprouts with ¼ a cup of the balsamic dressing and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss with the garlic and a generous pinch of black pepper until they are completely coated in the dressing and spread them over a foil lined baking sheet. Using foil will make your clean up much easier but the olive oil should prevent sticking. So if you’re all out, just toss them straight into the pan. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes.
While the Brussels sprouts are in the oven, prep the other vegetables. Quarter the mushrooms, slice the zucchini into half moons, and chop the bell peppers and head of broccoli to roughly the same size. Save time during the week by chopping the vegetables ahead of time, so they are ready to go when you are.
Marinate these vegetables in the rest of the dressing and sprinkle with black pepper. When the sprouts have started to soften, add the rest of the vegetables to the baking sheet and return it to the oven until cooked through- another 5 minutes or so.
As the vegetables roast, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. When the water begins to simmer, add an optional pinch of salt and give it a stir. This step is important because this is the only time that you get to season the pasta itself. Cook the pasta until it is al dente (which literally means “to the tooth”); you want the pasta to still have some chew to it. Different pastas will cook at different times so make sure to check your package for instructions. I cooked mine for 10 - 12 minutes
Remove the vegetables from the oven and add them to the bottom of a large serving bowl, along with any liquid left in the pan from the dressing and vegetables. This juice and the vegetables will create the sauce for your dish. Drain the pasta and add it immediately to the serving bowl. Combine and top with crushed walnuts.
If you aren't trying to impress anyone and you're just making this at home, feel free to just toss everything in the same pot you used to cook the pasta.
I love to make a big batch of this pasta and take the leftovers to work with me. This pasta holds up well in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The roasted vegetables are great warmed up later in the week and their flavors are only enhanced after a day or two in the refrigerator. You can liven the dish up throughout the week by sprinkling it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Roasted Fig and Walnut Rigatoni
1 pound of rigatoni pasta
1 8.5 oz bottle of Fig and Walnut Savory Balsamic Vinaigrette
½1 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
1 package of baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 large zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 clove of garlic
Walnuts for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut in half and mince garlic. Add ¼ cup of the balsamic dressing to the sprouts and garlic and season with black pepper. Toss to combine. Spread the Brussels sprouts on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 10 - 15 minutes or until they begin to soften.
While the sprouts are roasting, prepare the other vegetables. Clean and quarter the mushrooms. Chop the bell pepper and broccoli. Cut the zucchini in half and then slice them into half moons. Coat the vegetables with the remaining dressing and season with black pepper. Add the vegetables to the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts and roast until tender.
Fill a large pot with cold water and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, season with a large pinch of salt and add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions and drain when the pasta is al dente.
When the vegetables are cooked through, remove from the oven and add to the bottom
of a large serving bowl. Make sure to add the liquid to the bowl that the vegetables gave off while roasting. Combine with the drained pasta and mix together. Top with crushed walnuts and serve hot.
Recipe serves 6
Hi! I'm Lacie, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach turned Food Blogger. Welcome to The Vegetarian LunchBox where I celebrate my passion for vegetarian cooking.