Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomato, Feta and Veggies

I'm always looking
for new cooking techniques and/or unique recipes to help make cooking supper more enjoyable. My best finds are usually surprisingly easy, yet full of flavour. BUT if the culinary creation makes my heart sing, I'm willing to put in the time to make it happen. Fortunately the recipe I am sharing today was super easy and a taste hit with my family. And it would be easy to adapt.

One of my Facebook friends mentioned that she tried a sheet pan pasta and sauce that had gone viral on Tik Tok. HMMM. What little sheet pan cooking I had done so far was fine, but not spectacular. So of course I started a Google search for recipes that created pasta sauce by roasting cherry tomatoes. The options were endless and to be honest - inspiring. They ranged from sauces blended after roasting to a more traditional texture, to ones with cheese sprinkled on top after, to those with a block of feta roasted along with the tomatoes.

In the end, I took ideas from at least 4 different websites - including one recipe that was created to be a vegetable and feta side dish - to create my own version. Roasting the ingredients on a sheet pan was important. I also wanted my pasta sauce to include a good amount of roasted veggies in addition to the tomatoes. For the pasta, I chose a really unique multicolour one I stumbled across called Trecce Dell'Orto and I chose to cook the pasta separate.

I ate mine as is. My two male meat eaters snagged some leftover ham, chopped it up and sprinkled it on top of there. Both were delicious. After checking out my recipe below, I encourage you to explore what others are out there in a web search. And then make it your own.

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Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomato, Feta and Veggies
Serves 3-4 (3 regular main dish portions, 4 small servings)

Ingredients - 

1 lb.             Cherry Tomatoes (I love the multicoloured heritage ones
1/2 lb.          Zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then cross cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 lb.          Red and Yellow Peppers, cross cut in half then sliced into bit size strips
2 cloves       Garlic, peeled
6 oz.             Block of Feta Cheese 
2-3 T            Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
10 oz.            Trecce Dell'Orto pasta or your favourite smaller pasta
1/2 C             Pasta cooking water, saved from pot before draining!
Handful of Baby Spinach Leaves
Fresh Basil, coarsely chopped

Instructions - 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (makes cleanup easier).  Place whole cherry tomatoes and prepared zucchini and peppers, and garlic cloves on the sheet.  Sprinkle with olive oil and toss to make sure everything is coated with oil. Place block of feta in the middle.  Salt and pepper to taste. Bake in oven about 35 min. Veggies should be roasted,  tomatoes burst and feta softened and slightly browned. 

While veggies are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in your pasta and cook according to package directions (and your taste preference).  Once cooked, remove 1/2 C of pasta water from the pot and set aside. Then drain noodles well. 

Removed cooking sheet from over.  Take the 2 whole baked garlic cloves from the sheet and put them in a large bowl. Mash well with the back of a spoon.  Add the drained pasta and toss well. Then add all the veggies, tomatoes, cheese and any juices from the cooking sheet into the bowl. Add the reserve 1/2 C of pasta cooking water. 

Gently work to break up the baked feta and combine it with the rest of the ingredients.  It takes a little time.  Some recipes say it turns creamy but I never got my feta to melt into the other ingredients that way.  I just made sure it was crumbled well and evenly combined. 

Serve in individual pasta bowls with some fresh basil sprinkled on top. Enjoy!