This roasted vegetable pasta salad is the epitome of summer in a bowl. Simple and delicious, it’s made with fresh roasted produce from the farmers’ market — sweet red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes. The dressing is nothing more than olive oil, balsamic creme and a little lemon juice. Because the dressing is so simple, it’s important to use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, a proper Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Just like using fresh ingredients, quality products goes a long way in producing memorable dishes. Sun-dried tomatoes, toasted slivered almonds and fresh herbs bring it that extra mile!
Full of flavor and perfect for an easy summer meal
The process of roasting vegetables is simple, it brings out the sweetness, and intensifies the natural flavors.
And in my mind, this simple summer roasted vegetable pasta salad can be made two ways: 1) By roasting the vegetables in the oven, as I do in this recipe. Or… 2) heat up the BBQ and roast them there! If you have a gas grill, a BBQ grill tray and some sunshine why not cook outdoors? The BBQ method is simple: Lightly brush vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then place them on a grill pan or in a grill basket and simply grill until the vegetables are browned and tender. Remove from heat and toss with your favorite pasta. Voila!
This roasted vegetable pasta salad recipe can be made with your favorite summer vegetables.
Fresh, local produce is one of my favorite things about summer. Whether you choose a classic mediterranean ratatouille-like mix with peppers, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes or change it up and throw in some yellow squash, mushrooms, green beans, or even asparagus. Or swap out the vegetables depending on the season. Either way, it can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature or even chilled!
A tasty meal whether served on its own, as part of a meal, for a picnic or even leftovers.
This roasted vegetable pasta salad is perfect for an easy summer lunch or dinner. If you are serving a crowd, then add a mixed salad to the table, some crusty bread, and a bottle of your favorite red. It also travels well which makes it great for picnics, potlucks or BBQs! Even if there is only two of you, a big bowl of this pasta salad makes terrific leftovers for the next day.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
For the pasta salad:
- 1 red bell pepper, halved, stemmed, and seeded, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
- 200 g cherry tomatoes or mini roma tomatoes, cut in half
- extra-virgin olive oil, for coating the vegetables
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 400 g whole wheat or spelt short pasta, such as penne, fusilli, or farfalle (I used spelt volanti)
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 10-12 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped (60 g)
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- handful fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus more to garnish)
- 50 g slivered almonds, lightly toasted
For the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena (balsamic reduction)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to coat. You want to use just enough olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables (about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons). Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Roast in the middle of the oven until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta according to package instructions (until al dente). Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, toss with the dressing, garlic, red onion and sun-dried tomatoes until combined. Add the herbs, toasted almonds and roasted vegetables and gently toss again.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
This salad is highly adaptable to suit your personal taste.
- I imagine adding fresh mini mozzarella balls would taste great. Or for fans of salty flavors, go ahead and top it with a little crumbled feta OR to keep things vegan, add some chopped kalamata olives.
- For meat lovers, adding a little crispy fried prosciutto is also a tasty option.
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