I spent a recent Sunday lazing about, reading, relaxing and roasting tomaoes– which were so gobbledelish I could have eaten them all up, but I tried to exercise some self-restraint. Tough feat when they are warm and rich and pair so perfectly with the fresh baguette- sprinkled with organic olive oil- calling my name.
I’m usually so busy, even on the weekends, so I don’t get many days like this. I wanted to savor the time and bring the flavors dancing around out of my head, and onto my plate.
I knew I wanted to use the roasted tomatoes in something for dinner and this pasta dish was the exactly what I needed. It had tons of flavor, rich and robust without being heavy and thick. All of the flavors come together in such delightful symphony.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta has so many flavors, there’s no sauce needed. The roasted tomatoes, roasted broccoli, sautéed chicken, crispy pancetta flakes and goat cheese pack more then enough palate pleasing punch.
- Florets from one large head of broccoli
- 1 Cup Roasted tomatoes- chopped
- 6oz. crispy Pancetta
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- Goat Cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 Cup + Dry White Wine (I use Pinot Grigio or Orvietto)
- 1 box Pasta
- Heaping Tablespoon of butter
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Salt
- Cut the broccoli into 1" pieces. Cover a baking sheet with a thin drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Toss broccoli in the olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Roast in oven cut side down, preheated to 350, for about 15 minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the part touching the pan has started to caramelize. It should be cooked through but still firm.
- Cut the pancetta into small pieces and cook until crispy on the stovetop. (If you can't find the thin, sliced pancetta, you can use cubed pancetta as well.) Set aside and blot off grease by placing over a paper towel. Return pan to stove to cook chicken. (Don't waste the flavor from the pancetta grease-there won't be much, keep it in the pan to cook the chicken.) Add the butter to melt to saute the chicken.
- Cube the chicken breasts into about 1" pieces, add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and cook over medium heat. Add garlic salt and pepper. Cook until the sides are browned, adding a couple tablespoons of the white wine to deglaze. Add the rest and let cook down to a thin sauce while the chicken finishes cooking. You don't want it to cook off completely.
- While the chicken is cooking, put the pasta water on to boil. When boiling, add sea salt to water, cook pasta to al dente. Drain pasta and keep 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Chop the roasted tomatoes while everything is cooking.
- When all items are cooked, add the broccoli and tomatoes to the pan with the chicken to warm. Stir to distribute. Add pasta and stir over low heat with a splash of the pasta water, then crumble in the goat cheese and sprinkle in the pancetta.
- Add more wine or pasta water and reduce, if you want a saucier texture- but do this before you add the goat cheese and pancetta.
- The roasted tomatoes for this can be made ahead of time. They take quite a while, since it is a slow and low roast but they are easy to do and keep well. If you make them ahead of time, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge and bring to room temperature before using in this dish.
You could use any tube-ish pasta (like ziti, penne, or rotini) but I really liked these casarecce from Whole Foods. They really held on to the flavor with out being bulky in a bite. If you can’t find it at your local supermarket, look for an italian or specialty market in your area, which usually have good selections of different pastas. And as always, go organic when you can.
Toss all ingredients and distribute evenly, serve hot and enjoy with a glass of your favorite wine.
As a little treat, while you are prepping your dinner, nosh on these little beauties! Grab a baguette and slice a thin piece on an angle, drizzle with some quality extra virgin olive oil, top with a sliver of fresh mozzarella and an oven roasted tomato and voila- you’ve got a perfect little bite!