This pasta is wrapped in a silky homemade pesto and loaded with delicious roasted vegetables!
Pesto, veggies and pasta is an absolute force to be reckoned with. Although this may sound like a ‘light’ dish, it’s actually super hearty. So grab your eating pants and follow me…
Oh pesto, how you can do no wrong. Whilst it is tempting to grab premade pesto, I urge you to give this homemade recipe a go. Mainly because it’s too easy not to, but it’s also SO much better than store-bought (food snob alert 😛). Here’s what you’ll need:
Basil Parsley Pesto Ingredients
- Basil & Parsley – Traditional pesto uses basil, but I like to switch it up here and use half basil and half parsley. I just like the slightly more subtle flavour to wrap around the veggies.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Make sure it’s ‘Extra Virgin’, not just regular olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil has a much more intense flavour that is more classically used in pesto.
- Pine nuts – You can buy toasted, or toast them yourself. Alternatively, just use regular pine nuts.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated, not the powdered stuff!
- Garlic – A small clove will do the trick.
- Salt & Pepper – To taste.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yep! If you’re making it the day of, just tightly store it in the fridge until needed. Any longer then I recommend adding a layer of oil over the top to stop the pesto from oxidising. Then just pour off the oil before needed.
Process shots: gather ingredients (photo 1), add to food processor (photo 2), blitz until well combined (photo 3).
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s pretty versatile. I typically use courgette/zucchini, peppers, onion and cherry tomatoes because that’s usually what I’ve got knocking about the fridge. I also mainly use that combo because I feel the flavours work best in this context. Having said that, if you’d prefer to use different veggies that are suitable for roasting (broccoli, cauliflower, aubergine/eggplant etc) then go for it!
Perfectly roasted vegetables
Whilst roasting vegetables is a fairly straightforward process, there are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Spacing – Ensure you use a nice big tray and space out the veg. If it’s all cramped together it’ll steam and go soggy. You want it a little charred and a little crisp.
- Size – Try and slice the veg into even-sized pieces, just so they cook at an even rate.
- Temp – You’ll want to roast at a fairly high temp, just so you can get some good caramelization.
- Timings – Different veg will cook at different rates. Here I roast the courgette, pepper and onion, then add on the tomatoes later on because they roast much quicker.
Process shots: combine courgette, peppers and onion with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper (photo 1), roast (photo 2), add cherry tomatoes and toss (photo 3), roast again (photo 4).
Veggie Pesto Pasta
When it comes to combining everything with the pasta, my number 1 tip is to not do it over heat. If you toss the pasta with the pesto in a pan, not only will the parsley and basil likely burn, but the pesto will split and go greasy. As such, I recommend tossing everything in a bowl, where the leftover heat from the pasta and veggies will keep it all warm.
What kind of pasta to use?
I love using Linguine, but most long-cut pasta will do the trick. I recommend long over short because the way the pesto oozes around the noodle is just too good to miss out on 😋
Starchy Pasta Water
Once you’ve cooked the pasta, keep the leftover pasta water. This is a key ingredient and helps prevent to pesto from drying out and going greasy. The starch molecules emulsify the fats in the pesto and help create a glossy, slightly creamy sauce.
Process shots: add cooked pasta, pesto and pasta water to a bowl (photo 1), toss to combine (photo 2), add roasted veg (photo 3), toss to combine (photo 4).
Serving Veggie Pesto Pasta
When it comes to serving, the final thing I like to do is crumble over some feta. I don’t recommend skipping this, it really lifts the whole dish!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this roasted veggie pesto pasta shall we?!
How to make Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta
- Food Processor & Spatula (for pesto)
- Large Pot & Tongs (for cooking pasta)
- 15.5" x 10.5" Baking Tray (or similar size)
- Large Mixing Bowl (for combining everything)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Fine Cheese Grater
Ingredients (check list):
- 10.5oz / 300g Linguine, or other long cut pasta
- 1 small bunch (1oz/30g) Fresh Basil
- 1 small bunch (1oz/30g) Fresh Parsley
- 1/2 cup / 120ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 tbsp Pine Nuts, optionally toasted
- 1 clove of Garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper, or to taste
- crumbled Feta, to serve
- 1 medium Courgette/Zucchini, halved & sliced into chunky half moons (7oz/200g total)
- 2 medium Peppers, cored & diced into large chunks (7oz/200g total)
- 2 small Red Onions, peeled, halved & diced into quarters (7oz/200g total)
- 7oz / 200g Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 cloves of Garlic, left in skins & lightly crushed with the palm of your hand
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- Pesto: Add parsley, basil, parmesan, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and s&p to a food processor. Turn on the motor and blitz until well combined. Stop halfway and use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
- Roasted Veg: Preheat oven to 220C/430F. Combine courgette/zucchini, peppers, onion, olive oil and s&p on a large greaseproof baking tray. Place in the oven for 15-20mins, or until the veg has softened and started to lightly char. Take out the oven, add cherry tomatoes and use a spatula to give everything a toss. Place back in the oven for another 8-10mins, or until the tomatoes begin to burst/wilt and the veg is lightly charred (but not burnt!). Timings will vary slightly based on the size of the veg and the spacing between it, so just be vigilant.
- Pasta: Meanwhile, add pasta to heavily salted boiling water and cook until al dente. When ready, use your tongs to transfer the pasta straight from the pot into a large mixing bowl. Leave the leftover water in the pot.
- Combining: Scrape all the pesto onto the pasta, then add around 1/3cup of the leftover pasta water. Use tongs to toss everything until the pesto clings to the pasta. If it looks like it's drying out or turning greasy/oil just toss in a splash more pasta water. Discard roasted garlic, then toss in the roasted veggies.
- Serve: Test for seasoning then serve individual portions with crumbled feta.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
For more similar recipes check out these recipes:
Delicious Pesto Recipes
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Chive and Parsley Pesto Gnocchi
- Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta
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