Creative Cookery in Las Vegas

dinner is served We watched The 100 Foot Journey the other night and as I watched the aspiring young chef revel in the sensuous beauty, smells and tastes of his creative cookery, it reminded me of my sister-in-law, Mary. She's one of those cooks that just knows what goes with what and how to prepare anything. She can coax the absolute best tastes out of everything she cooks. Mary loves to cook and we always benefit from her expertise.

coarse chopping

I watched her prepare dinner the other night with a rainbow of fresh, colorful veggies she'd just bought at the local green grocer, Sprouts. I asked where she got the recipe for the Roasted Veggies and Pasta she was preparing . “Oh, I just made it up. In fact, I sent it into Taste of Home Light and they're publishing it soon”, she said rather matter-of-factly.  Really? The meal was tantalizing to the eye and to the taste buds, yet light and filling. David and I had seconds. I prayed there'd be some left for breakfast.

mary's roasted veg

Mary's Roasted Veggies with Pasta & Sausage
Recipe Type: Main Meal
Cuisine: Light and Healthy
Author: Mary Ramirez
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ lb fresh broccoli
  • ½ lb grape tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • l lb fresh asparagus spears
  • 2 links sausage, chopped/browned
  • 1 red onion
  • ½ lb mushrooms
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Coarse chop the peppers, onion, broccoli and asparagus.
  2. Toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, basil and salt and pepper.
  3. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in a 400F oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Toss minced garlic, coarsely chopped mushrooms and whole grape tomatoes in the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and add to other veggies.
  5. Return to oven for another 20 minutes or until veggies are roasted and tender and tomatoes burst.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside.
  7. Veggies can be roasted in advance and added when you're ready to eat.
  8. Cook the pasta according to directions, reserving about ½ cup of pasta water.
  9. Remove sausage from casings and brown.
  10. Combine roasted veggies, hot pasta and sausage in a large casserole and toss gently.
  11. Add some pasta water as necessary to bind the ingredients.
  12. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan. Serve in pasta bowls.
Mary uses a high protein penne and chicken sausage to make this a light, nutritious meal, but you can use any pasta you wish and the sausage of your choice.