A flavor-packed and healthy pasta recipe with whole grain spaghetti, a rainbow of roasted vegetables, and creamy ricotta salata cheese.
Think of this recipe as your healthy pasta special of the day!
It features whole grain spaghetti, lots of colorful roasted vegetables and crumbled ricotta salata, which is a mild, creamy and slightly salty Italian sheep’s milk cheese.
There’s a genuine rainbow of vegetables in this dish.
It’s one of the best summer vegetable pasta recipes I’ve made, although it’s easy to make all year round.
Starting with sweet bell peppers in three different colors, along with sweet-hot pickled peppers, red grape tomatoes and green zucchini squash.
Whole wheat pasta has a rustic, full flavor and a very pleasurable chew.
The pasta pairs especially well with this colorful assortment of roasted vegetables, kissed with a little smoky char from the oven.
I love to make vegetables the focal point of whatever I set out to eat or cook, the main element of the plate.
That could mean a tangle of Mediterranean roasted vegetables on top of creamy polenta or a warm root vegetable salad.
This approach treats the beautiful array of vegetables’ colors and texture almost like an edible artists’ palette.
You can find spaghetti or linguine made with a variety of healthy whole grains, from spelt to gluten-free ones made with chickpea flour.
They are nuttier tasting than some of the other whole grain pastas I’ve tried, and somehow very satisfying.
If you find them tricky to track down in grocery stores, try using your favorite whole grain pasta.
Ricotta Salata substitute:
Ricotta salata is a bright white fresh Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk.
It’s pressed and salted, and aged for about 3 months.
If it’s tricky to track down, you can substitute with other salty, sharp cheeses:
Feta is a bit creamier and more saline than ricotta salata, but will taste delicious in this dish.
Other good options are Mexican cotija or Greek mizithra which is made with a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Ricotta Salata
- 1 each red, yellow and orange bell pepper
- 1 pint (475 g) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- ½ cup (75 g) Peppadew peppers, sliced in half
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Peppadew liquid
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces (340 g) whole grain spaghetti or linguine
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ⅓ cup (80 g) crumbled ricotta salata cheese
- Heat the oven to 425 (220C) degrees.
- Cut the peppers into roughly 1 ½-inch pieces. Toss the peppers on a large rimmed baking sheet along with the tomatoes, olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Roast until the edges of the peppers are deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir them around, then add the red onion, garlic zucchini to the peppers and roast 10 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water.
- When the vegetables are done, add the Peppadews, liquid and reserved pasta water and scrape everything around in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the spaghetti to a serving bowl and toss with the vegetables, parsley and cheese.