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Sunday Dinner: Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

Sunday “dinner” was something that just happened weekly in my home while growing up. For most of my life my grandparents have either lived in the same home as me or a couple houses down the street so it was pretty much a given that a pot of sauce would be cooking up early every Sunday morning.

Our meals weren’t fancy, they were just a time to get everyone together on our day of rest. It’s one of those times where uncles, aunts and cousins came over, or maybe it was just immediate family, which in my family meant my parents, grandparents, sister and brother. Our lunch (dinner was actually more like lunch, usually served at 1pm) almost always included some sort of pasta dish as well, as plenty of secondary meat dishes and vegetables. There was always a lot of food and wine, and it was a good satisfying meal…usually followed by coffee or espresso and something sweet.

A few weeks ago, I had my parents and grandparents over to my home. We don’t live as close to my family anymore, so our Sunday dinners are far and few between…but when the opportunity arises we always are happy to share the meal together. This particular Sunday was a last minute plan so I made this pasta and sauce based on what I had in the refrigerator since there was no time to head to the grocery store. It was in the height of summer so I had plenty of eggplant, red bell peppers and onions on hand. A nice roast of some flavorful veggies and some canned tomatoes and this hearty pasta dish was born.

Buon appetito…

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

For the sauce:

2 large eggplant, cut in uniform pieces, about 1″
3 large red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cut 1″ chunks
2 red onions, cut in 1″ chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling over pasta when ready
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 28 oz can diced Italian tomatoes, not drained
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
big pinch of dried oregano

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

On large baking sheet, toss cut vegetables with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Coat well.

Bake for 20 minutes, check on veggies, and toss to cook evenly. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until vegetables are nicely browned and and roasted well. Set vegetables aside.

In meantime, cook pasta according to directions (I used whole wheat spaghetti in this particular dish).

In a large sauce pan, heat diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with a big pinch of oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Toss a cup of sauce and a drizzle of olive oil with drained pasta.

Serve pasta family style in large bowl (or in individual bowls) with additional sauce and roasted vegetables over pasta. Garnish with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

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