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 pint cherry tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
1/2 T butter
Pepper and salt
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Line sheet pan with foil.
- 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.
- Toss vegetables in approximately 1T oil (I usually eyeball this), Season liberally with salt and a dash of pepper. Spread evenly on baking sheet.
- 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.
- Remove and allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile place a pot of water on to boil.
- Place 1-2T olive oil in small pan along with butter. Heat over medium low.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.