I can’t believe I’m almost through my first week of graduate school. I still feel like I’m just starting out my undergrad. Well, you know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun.
For starters, I do have some complaints to the person that said the first week of classes is syllabus week. Obviously, they have never gone to my graduate school. We literally started learning right out of the gate and have a test and the beginning of next week. What a cruel and twisted world this is.
But instead of studying for that or doing any of my actual homework I decided to use my brain power to come up with a recipe instead. Everyone needs fuel to do any form of work, right? I don’t know if it’s because I am tired from these long days or if the chiller weather has anything to do with it, but I really just wanted a warm and hearty pasta dish this week. I’m not kidding when I say that the weather really has become classic fall weather. All of the leaves are turning yellow and orange, the air is becoming more of a crisp cool, and a number of birds that have begun migrating right over my house is incredible.
The perfect time for comfort food.
And what better way to do that than with a filling and warm pasta and veggie recipe. Although I love pasta, anytime I make a dish with it, it ends up being heavier than I intend it to be and leaves me feeling gross and overly full afterward. That might be because of the amount I eat but who can help it when pasta is involved.
With this recipe, I was really trying to find a way to make a recipe that had the rich flavors of a pasta dish but was a lot cleaner and healthier for you than many other pasta dishes out there. This recipe ended up being absolutely perfect and so full of flavors. All I wanted to do was curl up in a warm blanket and read about all of the medical terminologies. Sounds like the perfect night for everyone, doesn’t it? It had enough of the noodles that it satisfied my craving but the vegetables and seasoning helped to balance it out. It kept the taste fresh and filled me up without making it feel like I was one big ball of pasta.
Before this recipe, I had never really made a recipe that involved cooking the vegetables and pasta in such different sauces/marinades like this. But I when I began I didn’t really have a starting plan and just watched where the wind would take me.
And am I glad the wind carried me toward this recipe.
If I am being honest this recipe did initially start out as a clean out my fridge recipe. I had an excessive amount of vegetables in my fridge that really needed to be used up before they all began to go bad. So I simply started grabbing things out. If you would like to add other vegetables to this as you clean out your own fridge as well, just pay attention to if it is a hearty vegetable like the onions and carrots or softer like the zucchini and peppers. Whichever it is, chop it up and add it in with the similar vegetables to ensure that it cooks correctly.
Right after I finished making this recipe, I felt that I was a little over zealous with the sheer amount of food I ended up with. But because the vegetables make this a slightly lighter dish, you are able to eat more of it without feeling as full, so trust me when I tell you to make this entire recipe. Plus they make for absolute perfect leftovers.
After dishing up our plates, some of the members of my family told me that they like a saucier kind of pasta dish so they (he) added a big blob of marinara on top of this. But the rest of my family loved it as is. However, if you have a family that wants more of a tomatoey flavor to the dish you can add a second can of the peeled tomatoes to the mixture. If you do this, allow the pasta tomato mixture to cook slightly longer than the recipe instructs. This will hopefully bring it more towards a consistency that everyone in your family will like. And if worse come to worse simply add the marinara sauce to top it off.
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon marjoram
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 zucchinis, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 cup white mushrooms
- 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
- 12 ounces Rigatoni pasta
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 28 ounces peeled tomatoes, roughly crushed (there should still be chunks)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large cake pan, add carrots and red onion, place into the oven and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. Mix until ingredients are well combined.
- Remove pan from the oven add in the zucchinis, peppers, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts. Place back into the oven and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove and pour the oil balsamic mixture over the top of all of the vegetables. Stir well to make sure all of the vegetables are coated. Re-place the pan into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. When finished, remove from oven and set aside.
- On the stove, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the pasta and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from stove top, strain out the excess water, and rinse the pasta under cool water for a minute.
- In a large pan, heat up additional tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic until it begins to brown slightly. Pour in peeled tomatoes and mix until the tomatoes begin to simmer. Add pasta to the pan and cook on low for 6-8 minutes. Take your vegetable mix and dump all ingredients, including remaining liquid at the bottom into the pan. Stir well until fully combined. Place into a large serving bowl and enjoy~