May 22, 2014

let's do lunch | pasta with roasted tomatoes + asparagus

Let's Do Lunch is a series of easy (and mostly healthy) recipes that are perfect for throwing together on busy days for lunch or dinner.


Pasta sometimes gets a bad rap in the carb game, but I admit I love it. It's probably just under bread in my list of favorite foods (yes, I am one of those people...). It's also intensely easy to whip together satisfying meals with little effort. This is one of my favorites ways to prepare a pasta dish quickly and with maximum flavor. The roasted tomatoes add a slight tanginess to the dish, and their juice acts almost as a sauce. I like this dish vegetarian, but if you want protein grilled shrimp is particularly yummy paired with this.


Easy Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus
Serves 3-4 as a light main dish

8 ounces pasta (I like Trader Joe's brown rice and quinoa fusilli)
1/2lb. asparagus
1 pint cherry tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
1/2 T butter
Olive oil
Pepper and salt
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Line sheet pan with foil. 
  2. Remove tough portions of the asparagus stems by holding each stalk by the ends and snapping in half; discard the bottom portion. Cut in to 1" pieces. Tomatoes may be left whole or halved.
  3. Toss vegetables in approximately 1T oil (I usually eyeball this), Season liberally with salt and a dash of pepper. Spread evenly on baking sheet.
  4. Bake, checking the pan every 5-8 minutes to stir vegetables to keep from burning. You're looking for a bit of color especially on the tomatoes. Total roasting time will vary, but I usually end up roasting for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove and allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile place a pot of water on to boil.
  6. Place 1-2T olive oil in small pan along with butter. Heat over medium low.
  7. For ease of preparation I like to put the garlic through a press, but you could also finely mince the cloves as well. Place in pan with butter and olive oil.
  8. Watch the pan closely, stirring the garlic occasionally. I like to turn the burner off as soon as it starts to turn lightly golden. Continue monitoring so it doesn't burn. Once it's achieved a deep golden color, remove from heat.
  9. Drain pasta and place in bowl with 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add garlic mixture and combine. Add vegetables, and taste. Add freshly ground pepper as needed, and a dash of red pepper flakes for some heat.
Serve with a crisp salad on the side, and if you're feeling extra carby, lightly toasted baguette and plenty of butter.

7 comments :

  1. What a delicious looking dish! I am looking forward to seeing more from this series :)

    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingers.blogspot.com

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  2. This sounds really good! If you wanted to add a vegetarian protein, I bet it would be delicious with cannellini beans mixed in, or even a fried or poached egg on top!

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  3. Mmm! This looks absolutely delicious. I'm going to have to add it to our menu plan to try. I'm also a pastaholic.

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  4. Looks delicious! Those are some of my favorite things on one plate.

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  5. Looks amazing!!! I'm lazy enough to not want to wash a pan that I'd probably pop the garlic in the oven with the tomatoes and asparagus though! Yum!!!!

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  6. This sounds delicious. I'll definitely be trying this one!

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  7. Man, that looks SO good! I'm saving this.

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