This is one of those dishes that is so simple to make, but the flavor is so complex and delicious. I actually made this for dinner tonight and we loved it. I had been grocery shopping this morning and picked up some baby zucchini and cherry tomatoes. I was craving pasta. So I figured I would roast the vegetables and toss them with the pasta. But, I really wasn't sure what kind of sauce to use. I had initially thought I would make a bechamel sauce, but when I was chopping the vegetables I decided it would be to heavy. I knew there was some ricotta cheese in the fridge and it would be much more simple than making a bechamel sauce. This made an excellent meat free main course, but it would also be great served alongside a piece of grilled chicken.
Penne with Ricotta, Parmesan, and Roasted Vegetables
1 lb penne pasta
2 lb baby zucchini, about 8
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Chop zuchini and onion and arrange on two baking sheets. You will need to use two baking sheets. Place the zuchinni on one and the tomatoes and onion on the other. The reason for this is the onions and tomatoes don't have to cook as long as the zuchinni. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Then place in oven. Roast the onions and tomatoes for 25-30 minutes. Roast the zucchini for 30-35 minutes. With a spatula flip the vegetables half way through cooking.
While the vegetables roast cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water. When pasta is al dente, drain reseverving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water. In a large bowl combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Then add the drained pasta, the reserved pasta cooking water, the roasted vegetables, and the chopped herbs. Toss well and serve.
This would be especially good in the summer time using fresh from the garden vegetables. Enjoy!