Since becoming a mum and trying to coordinate an adult dinner with a baby bedtime that inevitably coincide, I have really embraced the technique of roasting. Not only does it create wonderful concentrated flavors, but it is easy to leave someone else in charge. (Try a few salmon fillets, some asparagus and some quartered red potatoes, a bit of timing finesse and you can do it all on one tray.)
This pasta sauce recipe is made almost entirely in the oven ahead of time and designed to reheat when you cook the pasta. Oh, it’s also a fully balanced meal in itself, add the spinach and there is no need for a salad. One less bowl to wash!
Roasted Pepper and Tomato Pasta with Sausage(serves 2)
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Core the peppers and slice into thick strips. Place on a baking sheet. Core and then quarter the tomatoes lengthwise, also place on the baking sheet. Slice the onion and add to the sheet along with the sausages. Drizzle all vegetables and sausages with the olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss all to coat.
2. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing partway. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
3. Transfer all the vegetables to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Slice the sausage and add to the sauce.
4. Cook the pasta according to packaged directions. Stir the spinach into the sauce until wilted and season to taste.
5. Top the pasta with sauce and a generous helping of cheese.
Note: to make ahead of time, complete through step #3, but don't bother bringing to a simmer until you want to serve. Instead refrigerate. You could also cook the pasta ahead of time and turn it into a casserole, just add a bit of extra liquid to the sauce to make sure it doesn't dry out.