Author Notes: From Izy Hossack’s The Savvy Cook: "By roasting tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini together, you end up with a ratatouille-like mixture. Just whack it all in the oven for an hour and come back when you are ready to cook the penne. Throw on some torn mozzarella near the end so that it melts over the vegetables and combine with the pasta and some crème fraîche or ricotta.” —Izy Hossack
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hrs
cups (300g) cherry tomatoes, halved
eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
teaspoons mixed dried herbs (I like herbes de Provence)
ounces (75g) fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into medium strips
cups (150g) dried wholewheat penne pasta (or 3 cups/300g cooked
tablespoons crème fraîche or ricotta cheese
pinch salt, more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cherry tomatoes for later. Add the rest on to a roasting tray. Cut the zucchini in half along their lengths, then cut the lengths into half-moons about 3/4-inch thick and add them to the roasting tray with the eggplant, oil, herbs and a pinch of salt. Toss together and roast in the oven for 1 hour, tossing halfway through cooking. After 45 minutes, scatter the torn mozzarella over the top of the vegetables and return to the oven for the final 15 minutes of cooking time so the cheese melts.
- Meanwhile, if starting with dried pasta, place the pasta in a medium pan and cover with just-boiled water from the kettle. Bring to the boil and cook until al dente (this will generally be the shorter cooking time on the packet). Drain, reserving a small mugful of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the saucepan.
- Once the vegetables and mozzarella have finished roasting, add them to the pan of drained pasta along with the crème fraîche or ricotta and a splash of reserved pasta water (or tap water if using precooked pasta). Season with salt to taste and divide between 2 plates. Scatter the reserved cherry tomatoes over the pasta and serve.
- Vegan: Omit the mozzarella and replace the crème fraîche/ricotta with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten-free pasta (e.g. brown rice pasta).
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