Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula

Cover recipe-  Everyday Food, Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula: Jan/Feb 2010

The Jan/Feb issue of Everyday Food is being marketed as The Light Issue.  Quite a few of the recipes are noted to be 400 calories or less per serving, and in the typical fashion of this magazine, all of the recipes are fairly simple to make.  I like that they include calorie counts for all of their recipes, even those that aren’t as low.

The cover recipe for the current issue is Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula, a meal in three easy steps.  Described as “a fresh take on supper,” pasta is tossed with greens and roasted vegetables instead of the usual sauce.  Since our family has been eating light, this issue really appealed to me.  Roasted tomatoes are delicious on their own, so the idea of tossing them with a fresh and light pasta dish sounded great.

Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe…

Print Print Recipe

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients:

2 pints grape tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 shallots, cut into eighths
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
1/3 cup pitted olives, such as Niçoise, coarsely chopped
3 cups baby arugula or spinach

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2.  Place tomatoes, garlic, shallots and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tomatoes burst, shallots are browned, and garlic is soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.
4.  Peel roasted garlic and mash with the flat side of a chef's knife.  Add to pasta pot, along with vegetables, olives, and pasta water.  Cook over medium-high until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then toss with arugula.

Tips:

*I subbed penne pasta for the Rigatoni, which I don't think made a bit of difference in the finished dish.
*When I weighed out 8 ounces of dry pasta to use in the dish, I thought for sure that it wouldn't be enough for four people to eat.  I was surprised to see that with the added vegetables, the 8 ounces is plenty.
*Maybe my shallots were too big but when I cut them into eighths, I still ended up with pretty big pieces.  This may have had an effect on the dish since the shallots didn't get all that nice and roasted.  The tomatoes were done in the 25 minute time given for roasting, and therefore the shallots had to come out too.  Next time I'd make sure the shallots were cut into thinner slices.
*I used canned California green olives.
*The arugula didn't really wilt/cook at all with the warm pasta in the dish.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/4th of the dish
Calories per serving: 350
Fat per serving: 9.5g
Saturated Fat per serving: 1.4g
Fiber per serving: 5.2g
Protein per serving: 10.7g
Carbohydrates per serving: 58.2g

Source:  Everyday Food, Jan/Feb 2010

The results:

My photo doesn’t look anywhere near as appetizing as the photo on the cover of the magazine.  There was no actual “sauce” that developed in my finished dish, and the result was that it was just plain dull. I saved this dish!  To each bowl of pasta, I added a wedge of Laughing Cow Light cheese, threw it in the microwave for a few seconds and tossed it until the cheese melted & created a light, creamy sauce.  Only with this addition of the cheese was this a good dinner.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

No.  It was flavorless as written.  The “fresh” flavors were a nice idea, but they didn’t come through in the end product.  The magazine is trying to show readers that weekday meals can be healthy and still taste great.  Unfortunately, this didn’t fit those guidelines… it was a very blah meal (until I saved it with the cheese addition, of course).

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

7 Responses to “Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula”

  1. 1

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 28, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    I always get frustrated when magazines print flavorless and blah recipes as their “healthy” solutions. Healthy and simple food does not need to be flavorless. Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now. I like your idea to add the Laughing Cow cheese… I love that stuff!

  2. 2

    Lisa — January 31, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    I make different versions of this dish for my family’s dinner all the time. A couple of spoons of pesto or dressing give it a lovely flavor.

    I think your photo looks better then the original.

    Cheers

  3. 3

    Christine Whittington — February 1, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    My husband made Martha Stewart’s version and we thought it was wonderful. We did have very tasty grape tomatoes, used the Niçoise olives, a fragrant and flavorful EVOO, and coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Green olives would have given the dish quite a different taste. Ours was superb. We did include a few paring of Asiago cheese on the top, but the dish would also have been fine without it. We may have roasted our veggies a tad more than those in your picture (or Martha’s for that matter)–the longer roasting may have brought out more flavor.

    • Lori Lange replied: — February 1st, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

      Christine- good to know! We just didn’t have good luck at all w/ this one but perhaps roasting the veggies a little longer & using a stronger tasting olive would be a better idea.

  4. 4

    Jace — February 4, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    I made this last night and loved it. Brought it in for lunch and my coworker thought it was delicious! I subbed penne, sliced some onion in thin slivers for the shallots and increased the garlic by half again as much. I also microplaned some parmesan on top. I did have fresh thyme so that may have made a difference and I heavily salt my pasta water. This dish had a “sauce” that lightly coated the pasta, not dripping.
    I hate bland food and this was not bland; it was light and I’ll make it again. Would make a nice supper supper, too.

    • Lori Lange replied: — February 4th, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

      Jace- good to hear that you had success with it. That cheese addition is key, I think!

  5. 5

    marie — August 22, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    We make this all the time. I skip the olives and I cut the tomatoes in half prior to cooking. We love it. I also leave out the thyme and arugula! It is my fiance’s favorite dish! It is a must try and it is great in the summer and is great cold or hot!

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