A fresh take on pasta salad
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A fresh take on pasta salad

From the What's for dinner? Mexican sopes perfect for Cinco de Mayo and a fresh take on pasta salad series
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I love pasta salads, especially this one made with roasted vegetables. It's packed with flavor and color and drizzled with a fabulous lemon vinaigrette. It's easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a few days, making it a delicious pre-made lunch option.

This recipe is easy to adjust to your liking, so feel free to add your favorite ingredients or omit something you don't like. Start by roasting a few cups of well-seasoned diced vegetables in a hot oven until tender. Then combine them with your favorite small cooked pasta such as orzo or penne.

Toss with the zesty lemon vinaigrette and a big sprinkle of fresh herbs. I've added walnuts as the protein to make this pasta salad dairy-free. If you want an extra kick of protein, add a can of rinsed chickpeas to the mix.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

6 servings

  • 1 eggplant, 1 inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
  • 1 red onion, 1 inch diced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 zucchini, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 pound (227 g) small pasta (orzo, penne, farfalle, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (see tip)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. In a large bowl combine eggplant, red pepper, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to evenly coat. Spread on a large baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Top with zucchini and walnuts, and roast for 5 extra minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the pasta. Set a timer as per package instructions. Drain well. Place in large bowl. Add roasted vegetables.

4. Whisk together dressing ingredients: lemon juice, remaining olive oil, dried basil, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour over pasta salad and toss until well combined. Season to taste. Allow to cool to room temperature. Garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy, or store covered in the refrigerator.

Tasty tip

If you don't have enough lemon juice to make 1/2 cup (about 2 lemons), you can combine white wine vinegar with lemon juice to make the full amount.

Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show "Best Recipes Ever." Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at www.karyosmond.com.

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