Friday, January 29, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Linguine with Torn Fresh Basil

This is my first recipe attempt from my Vegetarian Times subscription - yay! I always read the magazine (think I've received it 4 times since ordering it), and have big dreams of the delicious food I will make.

For my first recipe, I couldn't have picked better. The roasted vegetables made the house smell divine! This recipe is listed in their Valentines Dinner article for specific reasons... apparently asparagus spears have a lot of vitamin E, which boosts fertility and stamina (Hmm, never heard that. Myth?). They also say basil is known by the Italians as "kiss-me Nicholas". What I would like to know is, who's Nicholas?! The Italian Romeo? Wait, wasn't Romeo Italian? Forget it.

This dish is delicious, with or without it's sex boosting skills, or the basil (which I had washed, set aside for later, and then forgot to add! Drats). Although, I also think the basil would have been delicious.

Both Tim and I gave it two thumbs up. The sauce is really light but with deep flavors from the reduction. Will be great to make with fresh tomatoes in summer, for just ourselves or when we have friends over. Definitely guest worthy.

Roasted Vegetable Linguine with Torn Fresh Basil
from Vegetarian Times, Feb 2010

* I roughly halved the recipe (meaning, I halved most of the ingredients, but added a bit more of the things I knew I would really like - such as the sauce and tomatoes) which made enough for 2 people.

2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (Laura's note: I used button mushrooms, which were great)
1/2 lb. fresh or frozen asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (approx. 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 13.25 oz. package whole-wheat or white linguine (Laura's note: I used a half package and it only fed 2 hungry adults as a main course)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss together mushrooms, asparagus, onion, oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large roasting pan (I did this first in a bowl, then spread them out on my pan). Roast 20 minutes (only took me 14 minutes!), or until mushrooms and onions begin to brown, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Start your pasta water, if you haven't already.

Add tomatoes to pan, and roast 7-10 minutes more, or until tomatoes shrivel and soften. Transfer vegetables to bowl.

Add wine to roasting pan, stirring to scrape off any stuck-on bits from bottom of pan. Place roasting pan on burner over medium heat, and simmer 2-3 minutes, or until wine has evaporated by half; OR return roasting pan to oven 5 minutes, and let wine cook off (this is what I did, very easy!).

Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Stir reserved cooking water into reduced wine in roasting pan.

Return pasta to pot. Add wine mixture and vegetables, and toss over medium-low heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in torn fresh basil leaves, and serve immediately.

Cooking note: I don't have a roasting pan, so I used a cookie sheet with a lip. I plan to buy a roasting pan, as it wasn't the best idea, but it worked. The wine reduction, which I did in the oven for 5 minutes, helped take off a lot of the burned bits. Just took a bit of elbow grease to get the rest off.

Guten appetit!

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