Here’s an easy summer vegetable recipe that will satisfy everyone’s appetite. This Mediterranean pasta is brimming with roasted garden fresh vegetables, savory Italian sausage, garlic and herbs for a winning Mediterranean pasta recipe you’ll make again and again.
When the squash, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers are growing faster than you can pick them, it’s time for a good summer vegetable recipe and this Mediterranean pasta is one of our favorites. It’s loaded with garden-fresh produce, garlic, briny bites of olives and capers and Italian sausage for a summer vegetable pasta that’s off the charts good.
I start with a rainbow of vegetables. Fresh zucchini and squash, plus those gorgeous red onions — which really have more of a purple or magenta hue rather than red.
I have to be honest, I never used to like fennel. I always found it strong and overpowering, but I tried some in a pasta sauce at a local restaurant and that sauce changed my mind. I’ve even sought it out as an ingredient in my plank grilled salmon. Since then, the taste of fennel has grown on me and I find the subtle anise flavor plays really well in this Mediterranean pasta recipe. Crush the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle before adding them to the veggies so the flavor really develops.
Toss the fennel, garlic and dried herbs over the vegetables and toss them with a liberal dose of olive oil. So far, so good, right?
Then comes the sausage. I like spicy Italian sausage for this recipe, but if you prefer less heat, then by all means use a milder Italian sausage or for a more healthy pasta primavera, use Italian turkey sausage for the flavor without the extra calories.
I would call this a sheet pan dinner recipe, except that you do have to boil the pasta — but otherwise, most of the cooking is hands-off and who doesn’t like that on a busy Tuesday night?
While the sausage and veg roast on the sheet pan, I add three sweet bell peppers to the oven to cook. Now, you could slice the peppers and add them to the veg to cook at the same time, but (and this is weird about me) I like roasted peppers to slide down my throat, unfettered and when sliced peppers are roasted, their skins get tough and papery. I don’t like that. Instead, I roasted the whole bell peppers in the oven, just until the flesh was soft and the skins were blackened. Then they went into a bowl covered with plastic wrap to cool. When cooled, the tough, papery skins slipped right off and I just discarded the seeds and stems before slicing the peppers into strips.
Transfer the roasted vegetables, sausage and any liquids from the pan into a large bowl with the pepper strips, capers, olives, herbs and vinegar.
Toss the mixture until well combined.
For this Mediterranean pasta recipe, I like using a corkscrew or fusilli pasta, but it would also work well with elbow macaroni or penne. Though this looks like a sauceless pasta recipe, the juices given off by roasting the vegetables and sausage actually moisten and coat the pasta. If you feel it needs more, just add a few tablespoons of chicken or vegetable broth.
A few fresh shaves of parmigiano reggiano or grana padana would be an delicious final touch to this Mediterranean pasta. Now pour some wine and enjoy!
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Hearty, savory, meaty and 100% satisfying!
- 3 cups grape tomatoes I used red and yellow
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 medium zucchini sliced vertically, then crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 1 medium yellow squash sliced vertically, then crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 1 small red onion cut into 1" chunks
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound italian sausages casings removed and cut into 1" chunks
- 1 pound corkscrew pasta cooked to al dente
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives seeded and halved or quartered
- 2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons parsley freshly chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil freshly chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place bell peppers into oven and cook until skin is papery and blackened, about 35-45 minutes. Remove and transfer peppers to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the peppers steam in the bowl.
- On a large baking sheet combine the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, basil, fennel, oregano, red pepper flakes, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Toss the vegetables until well coated with the oil, herbs and spices. Add the sausage and spread everything into an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes. (Note the vegetable/sausage mixture can roast in the oven at the same time the peppers are cooking)
- While vegetables are roasting, prepare the pasta and cook until al dente. Rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and drain. Set aside.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, stems and seeds and cut the peppers into thin strips. Transfer peppers to a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and sausage to the peppers. Scrape the pan to get all of the juicy goodness into the bowl. Add the olives, capers and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Top with the vegetables and all the juices. Sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley. Serve.