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ROASTED TOMATOES, SQUASH & FENNEL PASTA SAUCE

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Cooking time

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 35 minutes

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 3

Your favourite pasta combined with sweet and tangy flavours of oven baked sauce feat. butternut squash, fennel, and cherry tomatoes, topped with thin shavings of fresh parmesan cheese… Delicious, healthy, and heart-warming; perfect meal to lift your spirits up on a gloomy cold day.

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Ingredients

  • 180-200 g fennel (cleaned and chopped)
  • 200 g butternut squash (cleaned and chopped)
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsps salt (for the sauce)
  • 1 tbsp salt (for pasta boiling)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 larger leaves fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 tbsps wine (preferably red)
  • 240 g pasta (80 g. per person)
  • 2 tbsps freshly grated parmesan ( plus extra for serving)

Method

  1. Slice butternut squash into few larger chunks, peel of the thick skin, then chop it into smaller cubes (cca. 1 cm thick). Transfer cubes into a larger bowl.

  2. Trim and wash fennel, then slice it finely. It is similar to slicing a bell pepper for a stir-fry, only in a bit smaller stripes. When finished, add it to a bowl with sliced squash.

  3. Turn on the oven to 180° C.

  4. Coat veggie mix with 1 generous tsp of salt, ½ tsp of ground pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, lime juice, and 3 tbsps of olive oil. Stir it well in order to combine all ingredients properly. For the best result, I advise you to do this part with the bare hands.

  5. Once you have it properly mixed and evenly coated, place all in a baking tray. My friendly advice is to use good old baking paper. During the baking process you will have to stir ingredients thoroughly several times, so that way you will save bottom of the tray, and as a bonus, make dishwashing much easier later on.

  6. Place the tray in the pre-heated oven, and bake veggies uncovered for 15 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, start working on the tomato layer. Wash and chop cherry tomatoes finely. Place them in a separate bowl or a larger soup plate, together with juices. Add finely chopped garlic clove, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, ½ tsps of pepper, and finely shredded basil leaves. Stir all well (with spoon or hands).

  8. Take the roasted vegies tray out of the oven. Uncover, add tomatoes mixture, stir all ingredients together, and continue baking uncovered for another 5 minutes.

  9. It is time to add final touch to the sauce. Take the tray out, coat the vegie mixture with 3 tbsps of red or white wine, stir it roughly, and place it back to the oven for another 15 minutes (uncovered).

  10. During this final phase, you can start boiling water for the pasta (don’t forget to add 1 tbsp of salt). Cook your favourite pasta according to the package instructions. Keep tiny bit of water during the draining process (2-3 tbsps). Also, make sure you boil pasta in a larger pot as you will need some extra space to combine it with the sauce.

  11. Baked vegies and pasta are ready? Great, it is time to combine them into a yummy final dish! Place the pot with pasta back on the stove (minimum heat). Add roasted vegie mixture and stir ingredients well. Then add grated parmesan, stir all well again, and in under a minute, put the pot aside.

  12. Divide pasta mixture between the serving plates, top it up with some extra freshly grated parmesan, and off you go. Bon appetite!

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