Crops in Season: October 2016

Autumn, which technically started on the 22nd day of September is a good time to FALL back into good nutrition!

Many Florida crops are in season now. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS); avocados, bell peppers, carambolas, cucumbers, grapefruits, guavas, mushrooms, oranges, peanuts, squash, sweet corn, tangerines and tomatoes are Fresh From Florida® this month. Additionally, our local Red Hills Small Farm Alliance’s seasonal produce includes elephant garlic, lemon grass, shiitake mushrooms and ginger root.

As the temperatures begin to drop, the days continue to get shorter, and the produce of autumn starts to appear, take time to incorporate that produce into your daily diets. Try celebrating October with a delicious, quick to prepare Roasted Vegetable Pasta recipe. Alice Henneman, Extension Educator Southeast Research & Extension Center University of Nebraska Lincoln writes a wonderful blog including recipes and tips with the goal of making you hungry for healthy food! You’ll enjoy this recipe so much you will want to make it again and again with whatever is in season!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Servings: 4 side dish or 2 large main dish servings

Exact amounts aren’t needed in this recipe. Just keep the vegetables being roasted at one time to an amount that can be spread in a single, even layer on a pan in the oven.

Ingredients

  • Roasted Vegetable Pasta (002)2 to 4 cups cherry tomatoes, left whole with skins
  • One large bell pepper (any color), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta (preferably whole grain), such as rotini, farfalle (bow tie shaped) or medium-sized shell pasta
  • Salt and pepper (preferably fresh ground pepper) to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix together cherry tomatoes, bell pepper slices, zucchini and extra virgin olive oil in a large roasting pan, a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or a baking sheet with sides. Spread the vegetables in a single, even layer on the pan. Use a larger pan or a couple of pans if necessary to prevent stacking the vegetables.
  3. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables.
  4. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tomatoes and zucchini are softened and the pepper has started to brown.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  6. Combine the roasted vegetables with the pasta in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If needed, add reserved cooking liquid by the tablespoonful until you have added enough liquid if pasta requires additional moistening.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve and pass the grated Parmesan if desired.

Alice’s Tips

  • If you decide to use the recipe for 2 main-dish servings, include the cheese to add some protein to the meal. Or, you might quickly heat some pre-cooked shrimp according to package directions and add to the pasta dish.

Used with permission from: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Educator. For more recipes and tips for fast, healthy and delicious foods, visit https://cookitquick.org/

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