Once it starts to cool down just a touch, as in highs in the 80’s or so, I find that it is time for roasting vegetables at every possible chance. I saw this recipe in the October issue of Martha Stewart, and immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list.
I changed a few things. More bacon, of course. I’m pretty sure I doubled it, but I wasn’t really keeping track. I also roasted some brussels sprouts along with the other vegetables. I didn’t think I liked brussels sprouts until about 5 years ago when my husband’s aunt cooked them for Thanksgiving. It was a huge eye opener for me. I guess I’d just always thought I was supposed to hate them, so I did, without any good reason. Thank you, Lynn! They might be one of of my favorite vegetables now. I also opted to use medium pasta shells because I was not about to pay $8 for a bag of orcchiette. Not going to happen, Martha. I shaved big hunks of Parmesan into the pasta but I wished I’d grated at least some of it, as the recipe suggests. It’s nice to get those big pieces of salty cheese, but I think smaller pieces that can make their way into the nooks and crannies of the pasta would’ve been better. A few shaved pieces on top are all you need.
This was a lovely dinner. A definite comfort food that fed 4 quite generously. I will be making this again as the weather continues to cool off. Enjoy!
Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Bacon and Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-4 ounces bacon, preferably slab, chopped
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 bag of brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces orecchiette or other medium pasta shape
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces), plus more, shaved, for garnish
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Reserve drippings.
- Toss sweet potato, onion, brussel sprouts and cauliflower with reserved drippings. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized, about 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot with cooking water, and toss with grated cheese and vegetables. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle bacon over top. Garnish with shaved cheese.