Saturday, September 19, 2009

Farfalle with Roasted Rapini, Tomatoes and Garlic

Farfalle with Roasted Rapini, Tomatoes & Garlic

A seemingly simple dish of farfalle tossed with margarine, salt & pepper and roasted rapini, cherry tomatoes and garlic. The vegetables were tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper and then oven roasted at 450F for about 25 mins.

Although it appears super simple, this dish was a little more complicated with subtle extras in the flavour profile.

I utilised two methods that I read about recently on the blog Ideas in Food (warning, blog is not vegan): roasting dry pasta and rehydrating the pasta in cold flavoured liquid prior to cooking. After I read these, I was intrigued and had to try it myself.

The idea behind the roasting is to give the plain pasta more flavour -- a subtle hint of roasty goodness. I don't know why this isn't more popular. After all, we pan toast Israeli couscous before using it and it's technically pasta.

Here I've roasted plain farfalle (not whole wheat) in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350F. I checked it every 5 mins and tossed it around for roasting. I probably could have roasted for 20 minutes but didn't want to burn it because once it starts roasting, it gets roasted pretty fast. Keep reading!

Roasted Farfalle

I let the pasta cool for a few minutes and prepared a simple hydrating liquid. I took a can of quality whole tomatoes, mashed it up a bit and strained the juice. I added salt and enough cold water for the amount of pasta needed. The idea behind hydrating is to enable someone to cook the pasta much faster later (soaked pasta only takes a few minutes to cook) which would be great for a restaurant or even a home pasta party. I was less interested in the cooking method and more interested in the flavour infusion. The neat thing is that with cold water, the pasta does not stick since the starches aren't released until heat is added.

Anyway, I let the pasta soak in the cold liquid for about 1.5 hours. This is how it looked like after soaking. Keep reading!

Soaked Farfalle

I drained the pasta and cooked it in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Then tossed it with margarine, salt, pepper and my roasted vegetables.

The verdict? I could taste the roasted flavours as well as tomato infused in the pasta but it was very subtle. At first I was a bit disappointed because I guess I expected more flavour. HOWEVER, the more I ate, the better it tasted and the more addictive it became.

Even though there are a few extra steps and this takes some planning, I will definitely do the roast & soak pasta methods again and play around more with deeper roasting and other soaking liquids.


shado said...

Hmmm .... interesting concept re cold soaking pasta prior to cooking. I actually do that with couscous when I'm extra lazy. I'll cold soak it overnight and in the morning, I'll toss in my flavourings and some veg and away I go to work.

I wonder if the pasta would fall apart if you cold soaked it overnight. I'm thinking of ways to save time after a long work day and commute

shado said...

Also wondered if you could cook it in the soaking liquid. It should intensify the flavour.

ms. veganorama said...

Hm, I'm not sure. Even after soaking for 1.5 hours it wasn't soft, but it was slightly pliable. You could try a few sample pieces of pasta and see how that goes. I think it's worth roasting if you have time.

I thought about cooking in the soaking liquid as well but wanted to try it first with fresh water. Next time though.

Amanda Rock said...

THAT. IS. SO. COOL. and it looks delicious!

i have to try it!

ms. veganorama said...

Yeah it's a really neat approach. I'm thinking of pre-roasting pasta and then keeping it around to cook with either the normal method or the soaking first method. The roasting adds a nice subtle taste.

Amanda Rock said...

i'm kind of obsessed with this. :p

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