It’s Wednesday again so it must be time for the next in my series of the simplest vegetarian recipes for students, for people who are new to vegetarian cooking and for those of you who just want a simple meat free midweek meal. This week I am sharing another one of our storecupboard standbys, an easy roasted vegetable pasta bake. I’m featuring products from the Independent range at Costcutter who asked if I could develop some family friendly Winter Warmer recipes for them – this one certainly fits the bill!
I made this roasted vegetable pasta bake yesterday for Mr TS and Bonus Boy to scoff down while I was out and about, and they were very happy indeed! How lovely to come home to find dinner ready and waiting just needing a quick reheat – I am rarely this organised so I think it was quite a treat!
Roasting vegetables is my favourite thing to do with them, especially in autumn and winter. I love how roasting concentrates the flavour and liberates those poor brassicas from over boiled hell. A roasted cauliflower, broccoli floret, sprout or cabbage quarter reveals just what stars these winter veg really are!
For my roasted vegetable pasta bake I used leeks, parsnips, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic, all from the Costcutter Independent Range. The veg were all really fresh and (apart from the garlic) UK grown. I tucked them into a rich cheese sauce made with mature cheddar, again from Costcutter, which was a revelation because I was sceptical that it would be full flavoured but I was wrong! I served it with a scattering of chopped parsley on top and some salad on the side, a perfect winter warmer full of flavour and crunch.
I sliced the vegetables, chucked them into a bowl, rubbed them with vegetable oil, salt, pepper and dried mixed herbs before roasting them for about 25 minutes.
- 100 g carrots washed and sliced into 1/2 cm slices (don’t measure them for goodness sake, just guess! You don’t want them too thick or they will take longer than everything else)
- 100 g broccoli washed and broken/cut into small florets
- 100 g cauliflower washed and broken/cut into small florets
- 100 g leeks washed, trimmed and sliced into rounds
- 100 g parsnips peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks
- 4 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- salt and black pepper
- 25 g butter
- 2.5 tbsp flour
- 300 ml milk
- 75 g cheddar cheese grated
- 150 g pasta I used fusilli
Preheat oven to 180C
Place all the vegetables in a large bowl with the oil, a pinch of salt, a good grinding of pepper and the dried herbs. Toss to coat the vegetables with the herby oil.
Pour the vegetables into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the hot oven for 20 – 30 minutes until browning and the carrots and parsnips are beginning to soften when you poke them with a fork.
Bring a pan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions, drain throughly and run under cold water.
Meanwhile heat the butter gently in a small pan
Add the flour when the butter has melted and cook gently for two minutes
Gradually add the milk, whisking or stirring all the time to avoid lumps
Bring to a boil, stirring while it thickens, reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes, still stirring.
Add two thirds of the cheese and stir until melted.
Put the pasta and vegetables into an oven proof dish and mix together.
Pour the sauce over the bake and stir.
Top with the remaining cheese, a grind of black pepper and return to the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the cheese is browning and bubbling.
If anything in this recipe confuses you, have a look at our growing Glossary of Cooking Terms for Beginners which aims to take the guesswork out of recipe reading. If you’re still baffled leave a comment or find me on social media!
Independent, the brand owned by Costcutter, offers a range of quality, affordable products across all categories including fresh vegetables, household items and confectionery, all on your doorstep. The award winning brand is available from Costcutter, Mace, Kwiksave, SuperShop and SimplyFresh stores across the UK. To find out more about Independent, including your nearest stockist visit costcutter.co.uk and find them on Twitter and Facebook.
Disclosure: This is a commissioned recipe.
Pin the Pasta!