Monday, September 20, 2010

Fusille with Summer Vegetables and Southwestern Roasted Carrot Puree

This was my first time having pasta with a roasted carrot sauce. I thought it sounded unique and I was curious how it would taste. Since I saw that summer squash was on sale, I decided to take advantage of it. But for future reference, I would suggest mixing and matching different types of squash and root vegetables. Summer squash has a really strong flavor and it kinda overpowered the other flavors in the pasta. I really did like the sauce though. The cumin seeds with the ancho chile help to give this meal a really warm, nutty and slight spicy flavor. With some slight adjustments this pasta can be a real winner!

Serves 6
Ingredients - Roasted Carrot Puree

* 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
* 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
* 1 celery stalk, diced
* 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, or sherry or vegetable stock
* 2 tsp cumin seeds
* 1/2 tsp fresh Mexican oregano
* 1/3 tsp salt
* 1 dried ancho chile, seeded
* 2 cups vegetable stock or 1 cup vegetable stock and 1 cup carrot juice, plus more as needed
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fusille with Vegetables

* 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, or 1/4 cup vegetable stock
* 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
* 3 cups summer squash or root vegetable, cut into 1/2 inch dice and cooked al-dente
* 1 cup tightly packed spinach leaves
* 3/4 pound fusille, cooked al-dente
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cilantro leaves, for garnish
6 lime wedges, for garnish

Directions - To make the puree
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a bowl, toss the onion, carrot, and celery together with the olive oil, cumin, oregano and stock. Place in a shallow baking dish deep enough for only one layer of vegetables. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring the vegetables after 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

2. Add the ancho chile and 1 cup of the vegetable stock. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are soft. Let cool to room temperature.

3. Transfer to a blender and blend ( in batches if needed ) with the remaining 1 cup vegetable stock, adding more stock if needed to achieve a smooth puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the noodles and vegetables
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the fennel and garlic and saute for 1 minute or until it just starts to brown.

2. Add the mushrooms and the squash and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mushrooms are just soft.

3. Add the spinach leaves and carrot puree and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through.

4. Toss in the pasta, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve - Divide the pasta among 6 pasta bowls. Garnish with cilantro leaves and a lime wedge.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving : 331 calories, 11.3g protein, 66g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 9.9g fiber

Per 1/2 cup puree : 67 calories, 1.6g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 1.2g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 144mg sodium, 3.7g fiber


  1. Excellent choice to include fennel. Love that beautiful plant.

  2. Whoa, that's a lot of fennel! I bet it tasted great. I love portabellos, too. Sounds like a winning dish, Jacklyn.

  3. Healthy, Jacklyn! And this sounds so tasty with all of the different aromatics...
    p.s. I love Whole Foods' pasta section. They are so nice and inexpensive!

  4. This looks so healthy! I like my pasta with roasted veggies too.