1mediumred onion loose peel removed and cut into wedges (⅛'s)
1medium aubergine (eggplant)cut into medium bite size chunks
1mediumred bell pepper pith and seeds removed then cut into chunks
1medium yellow bell pepperpith and seeds removed then cut into chunks
2medium courgettes (zucchini)cut into thick slices or chunks
1smallbulb of garliccut in half widthways
3 + ¼tablespoonolive oil
3 or 4sprigs of fresh thyme
¼teaspooncracked black pepper
The juice ofhalf alemon
125g( 1 x 4oz log) of soft goat's cheese
300g (3 ½ cups) rigatoni pasta (dry weight)
A smallhandful ofparsleyfinely chopped + more for serving
1tablespoonpine nuts toasted
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan, 200°C conventional oven (355°F fan or 390°F conventional oven)
Place the onion and aubergine in a baking tray, drizzle a ¼ tablespoon of olive oil over them then bake in the oven for 5 minutes.In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of harissa with 3 tablespoons of olive oil together until they are combined. Take the tray out of the oven add the remaining vegetables. Pour the harissa and oil mixture over the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.Add the thyme and garlic. Drizzle a little oil over the garlic then pop the tray back in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes turning the tray halfway through cooking. Cook until the veggies are tender.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instruction minus a minute or two. You want the pasta to be just al dente.Once the pasta is done, reserve two tablespoons of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
When the vegetables are cooked, remove the garlic from its skin, discard the skins and any stalks left from the thyme.Squeeze half a lemon over the vegetables then transfer to a large serving dish.
Tip the pasta onto the vegetables along with the pasta water. Crumble the goat's cheese over the pasta and toss everything together until you have a creamy sauce coating the pasta.Check the seasoning before serving, add more salt and pepper if needed.Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the pasta.Serve immediately with toasted pine nuts and some grated pecorino or parmesan cheese if you like.
Pasta - You can use almost any type of short pasta you want here, I use rigatoni but penne or fusilli all work well.
Vegetables - I use red onions, peppers, courgette (zucchini) and aubergine (eggplant) for this recipe but this is a very versatile dish! You can switch up the veggies according to what you have. Butternut squash, pumpkin, broccoli, mushrooms or leeks will all work in this recipe.
Harissa - You should find it in most larger supermarkets in the herb and spices section or in the world foods section.
Cheese - I use a soft goat's cheese for this recipe, you could also use feta if you like. The reason I use soft cheese is that it will melt quickly from the heat of the pasta and vegetables.
Storing/Reheating/Freezing - Any leftovers can be stored once cooled in the fridge and should be used with 2 - 3 days. I reheat this by adding the leftovers to a saucepan then adding a little water to the pasta and vegetables to loosen it all up. Stir it often then serve once piping hot. I don't recommend freezing this dish.
Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one serving of four and includes pine nuts.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.