Makes 4 cups - 4 servings
Roasting intensifies the flavors of vegetables and brings out their natural sweetness in this simple stew flavored with robust herbs. I like to serve it in large, shallow pasta bowls. Spoon the stew over wide egg noodles, or you can substitute mashed potatoes.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups asparagus spears in 1-inch lengths
1 cup baby carrots, halved horizontally
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 ½- by ½-inch strips
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, each half cut into ½-inch slices
½ red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups (about 4 ounces) wide egg noodles
Freshly ground pepper and crumbled feta cheese for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Stir together the oil, garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and toss until coated. Transfer the vegetables to a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, turning the vegetables occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.
When the vegetables are done, transfer the roasting pan to the stovetop. Stir in the vegetable stock, tomato paste, and the tomatoes. Cook, covered, over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Season to taste.
When the water comes to a boil, add salt, then the noodles. Reduce the heat; cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or according to package instructions, until noodles are al dente. Drain well.
To serve, spread noodles in the bottoms of pasta bowls. Top with the stew; garnish with pepper and feta cheese.
This stew will keep for up to 5 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. When reheating, thin with water as desired. Prepare the noodles or mashed potatoes just before serving.
If you don't have a roasting pan, roast the vegetables on a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil. Transfer the vegetables to a Dutch oven to complete cooking the stew on the stovetop.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.