Perfect pasta for menopause: Mixed herb pasta with slow roasted tomatoes

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This is a super green, super healthy pasta. A little advanced warning, you need patience for the slow-roasted tomatoes to cook, but it’s worth it as they really add that special touch to this dish, when you mush the juicy tom’s into this pasta dish, we guarantee it will send your taste buds zinging.

OK, when you see that you need 5 hours to roast them you may by-pass this recipe, but if you roast them a day ahead then you’ll be ahead of the game.

Recipe extracted and adapted from Keep it Vegan by Aine Carlin.

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Serves:          3-4

Prep time:     5 minutes

Cook time:     10 minutes (Plus 5 hours for slow roasting tomatoes)

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ingredients

For the tomatoes

  • 6-8 large’ish tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pasta

  • 30g each of fresh flat-leaf parsley; coriander and basil
  • ½ fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 300g wholemeal fusilli pasta
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • a few extra chopped basil leaves, for serving
  • Extra virgin olive oil to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 100C fan oven.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a roasting tin and cover evenly with the balsamic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and the Italian herbs. Roast for 5-6 hours and set aside to cool. Before serving, drizzle with the remaining oil. If cooking a day in advance drizzle with a little olive oil and store in a sealed container and reheat at 180C fan, for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the pasta.
  3. For the pasta, put the herbs, fennel, celery, onion, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor with some salt and pepper and blitz until they form a coarse paste. Transfer to a large, non-stick, heavy based frying pan and fry it gently for 5-7 minutes. Add the pasta to the pan and stir well to coat in the paste. Sprinkle over the crumbled stock cube and cover the pasta completely with cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until all the water is absorbed, adding a little more if necessary, until the pasta is fully cooked, stirring frequently.
  4. Eat hot or allow to cool to room temperature and serve with the tomatoes, scattered with the chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

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