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Stirring up a quick meal with leftover veggies

It’s only tuesday and I seem to have a fridge full of vegetables, calling out to be used! How did this happen, I wonder! ‘Bought too many and barely used any’, I mutter to myself. I have to use them else, they will have to find their way to the composting bin…
Since, I wanted to use all the veg and fancied a spaghetti dinner too, I tool this inspiration from Kate’s blog. Roasted vegetables and spaghetti go so beautifully together. Feel free to sprinkle as much or as little cheese as you like.  Since, this isn’t quite literally baking, feel free to change around the ingredients and the flavours so suit you, like I did. My take on the recipe is:
  • 5 – 6 large tomatoes
  • 1 medium eggplant, large chunks
  • 3 -4 carrots, large chunks
  • 1 medium red pepper (or orange or yellow or green), diced
  • 300 gms large chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red chilli flakes (about 1/2 tsp – optional of course!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 225 gms spaghetti (typically about 75 gms of spaghetti per person)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to about 200 deg C.
  • Put all the chopped vegetables in a bowl and add the oil, salt and pepper, chilli flakes and oregano. Mix well.
  • Throw into the baking tray and let it bake for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and a little charred on the sides.
  • Boil the water in your kettle now.
  • Pour water in a large pan and add lots of salt to the water before bringing it to a boil. (Apparently, the Italians say, that the water for cooking pasta, should taste like the Mediterranean – yes, very salty)
  • Now, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente (still firm to the touch or try throwing on to the ceiling and if it sticks, it’s done!). Drain and cover with a lid and remember, not to throw all the cooking water away just yet.
  • When the veggies are ready and roasted, add them to the drained spaghetti along with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water.
  • Add basil and grate some cheese,  if using and enjoy your super quick and delicious meal with your family!

Remember, no hard and fast rules for making the above. Use whatever vegetables are lurking around in your fridge (butternut squash, zucchini, fennel work just as well). Throw in hard herbs (like rosemary, thyme, oregano) while roasting veg and soft herbs (like basil, parsley, coriander) over the top as garnish.

Enjoy by itself or with a green salad on the side. Works every single time! Though, as George Miller, a British writer says, The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you’re hungry again.” So, to avoid this, reduce the quantity of pasta and add maybe some more veg or veg version of a meatball. It’s delicious, whichever way you tweak it…Thank you Kate for the the inspiration.

Shilpa xx