Thursday, July 2, 2009

Addictive Roasted Veggie Pasta

N. made this for dinner last night, and we both realized that whenever we have this dish, we can't stop eating it -- that's why I'm calling it Addictive Roasted Veggie Pasta. It comes from one of the Sundays at Moosewood cookbooks, I can't remember which one, and since I don't have the book here in Berlin, the recipe as given below doesn't have all the precise information you'll find in the book. It doesn't have the sort of crunchy-granola-hippy aesthetic that you might associate with the original Moosewood cookbook of 1977; instead its sophisticated ingredients (roasted fennel and asparagus) and flavorful dressing seem more like an updated classic.

One of the key ingredients is asparagus, but that's not available in Germany in June so we used green beans last night and the dish was almost as good. The dressing is the "secret weapon," so to speak, which - combined with the feta and the olives - makes the whole thing irresistable.

1 large fennel bulb
1 lb. asparagus
1 large red onion
olive oil (about 1/4 cup?)
8 oz. dry pasta
pitted calamata olives
feta cheese
flat leaf parsley

1/4 c. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
garlic, freshly pressed
1 tsp. mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the fennel and onion; cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Toss with olive oil and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, tossing again twice during cooking.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta and chop the tomatoes, feta, and parsley. Cut olives in half. (Recipe calls for 1 dozen olives, but we use more.)

Mix the dressing; toss it with the roasted veggies and pasta. Toss in the olives, tomatoes, feta and parsley (or, alternatively, don’t toss in the feta but serve the dish with the feta on top).