Roasted Vegetable Pesto Pasta Bake
Admittedly I am a huge meat fan, I absolutely LOVE lamb and could eat it every day... but like all things, too much of something isn't always a good thing.
So I'm trying to cut down on the whole meat/chicken consumption in my family, it is hard, especially when the kids request KFC every damn day! Trying to save some money and looking for healthier meal options begins here!!
Conscious Food Choices
Being more health conscious lately, I have been looking for more family friendly, FILLING dishes and I wanted to do something roasted because, fresh vegetables roasted in olive oil can satiate you and keep you full longer than many other foods. I was also looking for recipes that use less or NO meat. Being ThrifDee, I'm on a quest to try more pocket friendly dishes.
We've all tried meatless Monday's, so why not other days??
This was kind of a bishbashbosh recipe (my favourite type) BishBashBosh is simply my terminology for (quick easy food) the lazy chefs dream.
This recipe actually turned out to be much tastier than I'd hoped!
The kids usually eat pasta with pesto, but I wanted to sneak some veg into their dinner and seeing as this recipe has no meat, I had to find a way to get in their 5-A-Day without them really noticing - all hail melted mozzarella!!
Pesto is made from basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and pine nuts. All of these ingredients have health benefits and can be included in a well-balanced, healthy diet. This can be freshly made at home, but there are many of options for buying pesto & I really prefer to buy it ready made. With Ingredients such as the olive oil and pine nuts, it is considerably higher in calories, because of the high fat content. But the fat is unsaturated, so consider this a healthy sauce & like anything, eaten in moderation of course!
With the layers of flavours in this dish, it will be a winner with whoever you serve this to! So here is my nonasties, bishbashbosh version of this recipe -
Roasted Veg Pesto Pasta Bake - Ingredients
- 2TBSP Paprika
- 1/2 TSP Black Pepper
- 1 TSP Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 TSP Mixed Dried Herbs
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 2 Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Cloves Of Garlic, crushed
- 2 Peppers Red/Green/Yellow, chopped
- 1/2 Pack Pack of Closed Cup Mushrooms, quartered
- 1 Aubergine, diced
- 1 Courgette, diced
- Handful of Cherry or Roma Tomatoes
- 2 TSP Olive Oil
- 1/2 Pack Pack Dried Pasta
- 2-3 TBSP Pesto
- 1 Cup Grated Mozzerrella
- Preheat oven to gas mark 6, 325°F 163°C grease a shallow roasting pan with olive oil.
- Drizzle vegetables with some extra oil, add the seasoning and toss to combine.
- Roast for 25 minutes, turning twice, or until vegetables are tender. Add cherry tomatoes 5mins before you take out the vegetables from the oven
- Meanwhile in a shallow pot, add a little olive oil sizzle the onion until translucent then add the garlic, chopped tomato and tomato puree, simmer and season with salt, pepper paprika fresh coriander add a little hot water & simmer until tomatoes are cooked through and sauce is thickened.
- Take the cooked pasta and add the pesto. Toss until well combined Once veg is cooked, add the sauce on top of the roasted veg and sprinkle with some grated mozzarella then add the layer of pasta and add the rest of the mozzerella and cover with foil so the pasta does not dry out while you wait for the cheese to melt, take off foil after 5mins and allow to bubble a little making sure not to dry out the pasta.
- Sprinkle over the Parmesan if using and serve.
I only use Pink Himalayan Salt because it has many more health benefits than usual salt & it's actually stronger, so you'll end up using less salt as you get used to it, but normal table salt can be used if you can't find pink salt.
Try to use fresh organic produce like I have, I always go for a good quality pesto, if you can, buy one you know does not contain no nasties & is healthier! You can really taste the difference & your body will thank you later!
This is so simple, a quick dish that is as equally tasty, as it is easy! If you have super fussy kids, or anyone in the family, you could even whip the roasted veg in a chopper to blitz a little & add it as a base/sauce so it's not so noticable.
You can add any veg you like to roast & also change the cheese & add extra herbs if you like a stronger taste to switch it up!
What other veg would you like to add to this recipe? Would you add some spice to the sauce?? Let me know in the comments below & don't forget to share!!