Penne with Roasted Vegetables

August 20th, 2010  | Category: Pasta

Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Today, I am going to share a quick & easy (and very tasty) dinner recipe that used to come into rescue during weekdays, while I was still working at a 9-to-9 job. Here’s how it goes, minute-by-minute:

You’ve come back home from work feeling exhausted and have just taken off your clothes. Now, before jumping into the shower to get rid off the day’s drowsiness, cut the tomatoes, the eggplant, the mushrooms and the peppers, making sure they’re about the same size so they cook evenly. Then, mash the garlic with a little bit of salt, add olive oil, black pepper and toss with vegetables. Spread them on a baking tray and put it into the oven.

Just before you hit the shower, put a large pan filled with water over the stove. When you finish taking your shower, the water will be boiling. Add lots of salt into the boiling water, give it a stir and add your pasta. Right when you do that, the oven timer will start beeping, letting you know that the vegetables are done. Five minutes later, drain the pasta, mix everything together and serve with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.

Voila! Your dinner is ready in only 45 minutes. And the best part is, you’ve only spent 15 of those minutes in the kitchen and had a bit of a time to relax while it cooks.

After telling you how much of a time saver this recipe is, the tip that I am going to share might conflict with the “quick & easy” qualities of the recipe, but what can I do? It is about something I am truly obsessed with.

The skin of the cooked cherry tomatoes bugs me a lot. And I have to confess, no matter how tired and hungry I am after a long day, I always peel them off one by one. If you are as obsessed with this as I am, I would like to give you a little tip.

Tomatoes and Pepper

When you cut the tomatoes in half, it is hard to peel the skin off in one go after they’re cooked. Sure, once they are cooked, the skin splits up of its own. But when it comes to peeling it, the part that clings to the stem acts stubbornly. And the fact that the tomatoes are still hot doesn’t really help. So, before cutting them in half, I slice a thin section from the top part horizontally and then cut them in half. This makes it much easier to peel off the skin.

Roasting Vegetables

I’d say the most important part of the recipe is to spread the vegetables in a single layer. At the end of 30 minutes, the vegetables should absorb the water that they released and the edges should start caramelizing. There should remain only 3-4 tablespoons of juice in the oven tray. You need that juice to make the sauce, so do not let them dry completely. To ensure proper caramelization, drain the vegetables well and dry them with a towel.

Bon Appetite!



Serves 2

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, top section removed then sliced in half
  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz Penne pasta
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese


  1. Roughly chop the garlic cloves and sprinkle them with salt. Mash them with a fork to create a fine puree.
  2. Toss the vegetables with garlic, freshly ground black pepper and 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl and spread them in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Roast, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes or until the edges of the eggplants start to caramelize.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. When vegetables are nearly done, cook the pasta according to package directions or until al dente. Drain.
  5. Return the pasta into the pan and toss with the cooked vegetables and 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  6. Top with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese and serve.
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  1. 1 - Paula on August 20th, 2010

    here is so many inspirations!

    have a nice time!

  2. 2 - Susan @ SGCC on August 20th, 2010

    This is exactly the kind of dish I look for during the busy work week. It looks so fresh and flavorful!

  3. 3 - Annie on August 20th, 2010

    I made this exact recipe last night, and yes, after a long day at work! I like how the recipe breaks down the time allocations so that it’s possible to do 2 things at once. If only all recipes were the same way 🙂

    I’ll be making this tonight…after work.

  4. 4 - Ghille on August 20th, 2010

    Thanks for that tip on the tomato skins…I have that problem too!

    This sounds delightful! With some nice crusty bread and wine…it could warrant candles!

    Yum as usual!

  5. 5 - carole (bishy57) on August 20th, 2010

    this look’s lovely, have all those ingredients will make tonight for dinner!

  6. 6 - Yasemin on August 20th, 2010

    Looks delicious! Thx 🙂

  7. 7 - Connie Yildirim on August 20th, 2010

    Your recipes/pictures always make me hungry. Can we make recipe requests here? How about a recipe for poğaça? The best thing I’ve eaten this year (so far) was poğaça with spicy mashed potato on the inside. I’ve had plain poğaça before but never with a filling – it was so yummy! I live in Austin…we don’t have any Turkish restaurants let alone a bakery.

  8. 8 - aimee on August 21st, 2010

    Looks great and so simple. You have a lovely blog. I’m happy to have found it!

  9. 9 - Hope on August 21st, 2010

    Looks lovely !

    Thanks for the little tip .

  10. 10 - Peggy Polaneczly on August 21st, 2010

    I love how the veggies are all cut to the same bite size. And so gorgeously roasted! I have a bunch of vegetarian teens at the cottage this weekend – I think we’ll try this for one of our meals.


  11. 11 - Cari on August 21st, 2010

    Mmm! Your pasta looks so comforting! And I love that it is quick and easy to make. And nutritious! I’d love to feature it on my site with full links and credits back to you if you are keen! Please let me know! All the best,

  12. 12 - jade on August 21st, 2010

    hi cenk, thanks for a great quick & delicious dinner recipe, i’ve been in a rut lately & exhausted with working full time & keeping up with my 1 yr old. you’ve inspired me to make dinner this week!

  13. 13 - Alice on August 21st, 2010

    Lovely recipe for a steaming hot bowl of colourful comfort food. I’ve just stumbled across your blog and am very excited to try out several recipes including this one. The pomegranate frozen yoghurt looks divine!

  14. 14 - Andreas on August 22nd, 2010

    there is no reason not to cook at all. especially, after that quick, easy and tasty recipe 🙂

  15. 15 - Sophia on August 30th, 2010

    The penne really looks delicious! Totally something that I would make for dinner, and save some leftovers for work the next morning. I’m going to have to put it on my list to try soon. Today I plan to make a Low Fat Tomato Pasta Salad – – I hope it’s tasty. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  16. 16 - Lydia on September 7th, 2010

    This looks terrific. I think I’ll try it tomorrow and throw in some grilled chicken or tofu. Yummy!

  17. 17 - Mandaleen on September 8th, 2010

    My boyfriend and I made this for dinner, omitted the bell peppers cause we forgot about them… but otherwise, it was fantastic! the next night, after a long day at work, I was back in the kitchen making it at 11 PM. Yummy.

  18. 18 - Oni on September 8th, 2010

    Lovely easy dish, this is one of my go-to favourites also. I’ve started having it with pecorino cheese instead (a slightly saltier taste than parmesan) – also delicious!

  19. 19 - PimpThatFood on September 9th, 2010

    Love your shots! Pasta is always a great dish to share and to eat with your loved ones. The fact that is very healthy and vegetarian is a bonus for all the vegetarians out there.

  20. 20 - Claire on September 12th, 2010

    Loved it and really appreciate the photos of the preparation – love the context, arriving home from work, into the shower, except instead of the shower,since its Sunday and no work today, for me it was reading your blog in between preparations alongside a glass of Rose wine – definitely recommended 🙂

  21. 21 - WiserBuddy on November 7th, 2010

    wow, ilove pasta.

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