We always do an end-of-semester party with our students in our language immersion program; after all, when you spend 20 hours a week for 15 weeks with the same class, you get to know each other pretty well, so it’s nice to have an informal day with them.
Usually, we do a massive celebration with all our classes together, but this semester it just wasn’t coming together, so each lecturer did an individual class party.
So I passed around a sign-up sheet so we’d know who was bringing what, including paper goods and soft drinks and the like. And my students, who claim to love food and hail from most corners of the earth (Caribbean, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, SouthEast Asia, and Russia, wrote cookies, snack, cookies, snack…like, what!?! I was NOT going to have a Dunkin’ Munchkin affair.
So I panicked and made a dish myself (which we lecturers don’t often do, since our students are usually so generous with the home-cooked dishes). Pasta seemed the right solution and I was able to carry the sauce separate from the pasta and reheat it in the office microwave…Although we have no vegetarians, roasted vegetables seemed the right way to go.
I needn’t have worried. My wonderful class brought chicken adobo (Philipines), roast chicken (Korea), empanadas (Colombia), warmed greens salad (Haiti), and pasta (U.S. style!). Plus a gigantic and delicious lemon cream cake! So it was a lovely spread and a nice way to close the semester before their big test
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Two pounds short, curly pasta – shells, farfalle, penne, or cavatappi
4-5 Cups mixed chopped vegetables (zucchini/red pepper/yellow squash/cauliflower/broccoli/asparagus)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Small onion, peeled and minced
1-2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz button mushrooms (white or baby bella), woody parts of stems removed before chopping
Hot red pepper flakes – a pinch or two, optional
Two 28 oz. cans diced or pureed tomatoes
Salt to taste
1 Cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other grating cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread vegetables, onion, and garlic on a rimmed baking dish, drizzle with oil and roast for 1 hour.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
In the meantime, heat oil for sauce in a large pot until liquid and fragrant. Add onions sauté for a minute, then add garlic. Saute for an additional minute, then add mushrooms. Cook at medium heat until mushrooms release their liquid (about five minutes), stirring occasionally. Add pepper flakes, if desired, and add canned tomatoes. Cook at a slow simmer until vegetables are finished roasting. Add vegetables and stir to combine. Add pasta and cheese, mix well and serve.