Saturday, 16 August 2008

Roasted Vegetables with Coriander and Parsley Pasta

Cauliflower is a one of those vegetables where I don't hate but I don't quite like either. The broccoli's poor cousin... until I had it roasted. Oh wow, I'm now officially in love! Sadly, it's still only with the roasted version.

The green pasta ... well, another successful experiment. With lots of coriander, parsley, garlic and fish sauce, it's almost a Thai version of pesto... yum!

Roasted Vegetables
Your choice of vegetables - peppers, aubergine, cauliflower, courgettes, tomatoes..
Olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Cut the vegetables up to your preferred size - the smaller they are, the faster they cook. Coat the vegetables with olive oil. Squeeze on some lemon juice, a teaspoon or so will do. Roast in a medium to high oven until the vegetables are cooked through and slightly charred on the outside. Season well.

Green Sauce
a small bunch of coriander
a small bunch of parsley
1-2 cloves of garlic - if u like your garlic put more in (not too much though), if you hate the stuff then leave it out
fish sauce
Thai sweet chili sauce
lime juice
lime rind
kaffir lime leaves
flavourless oil - sunflower or groundnut

Coarsely cut up the coriander and parsley - leaves only. Remove the hard stalk from the kaffir lime leaves and slice finely. If your lime rind is in large pieces, slice it but quite as finely as the lime leaves. Put all the above ingredients into a food processor. Add the garlic and oil. The oil is really there to help the blending along. Whizz until all the ingredients are blended together and you have a thick-ish green paste. Add in the lime juice, chili sauce and fish sauce. Blend well. You should have a bright green sauce that is not too thick nor too runny. The amount of ingredients really depend on how much you like certain things - if you dislike coriander, replace it with basil. For a nice fresh zing, add mint. Hate garlic? Leave it out. Can't get your hands on limes? Use some lemons instead. This sauce goes really well with battered seafood or just stirred into boiled rice.

Putting it all together
Just before the vegetables are ready, cook your pasta - I used linguine - according to the direction on the packet. When the pasta is done, drain it and mix some of the green sauce in - use it like you would pesto, coating the pasta. Top with the roasted vegetables. For me, there's always room for a bit of meat so I sliced up some left over salami and tossed it in with the vegetables before they topped the pasta.

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