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If you have a selection of peppers, courgettes, tomatoes, aubergine and onions – or you have any combination of these past their best, there is no need to turf them out as food waste instead you can cook them into a ratatouille or pasta sauce. Or, why not make them into a healthy lunchbox salad and save even more money.

My recipe for Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Pasta Salad takes only minutes’ preparation and the vegetables cook slowly in the oven, caramelising a little to add extra sweetness. Absolutely delicious as a healthy lunchtime treat or add feta cheese to make it a main dish.

 

To serve 4 as a lunchbox salad

Ingredients

 

400g mixed vegetables (courgettes, peppers, mushrooms, onions, aubergine etc)

200g farfalle pasta

4 tablespoons soft cheese

1tsp crushed garlic

100g washed baby spinach leaf

50g black olives (pitted and halved)

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried oregano

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

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Method

 

Preheat your oven to 180◦c , fan 160◦c, gas mark 4

 

  1. Check your vegetables over and remove any mouldy or bad parts. Wash the vegetables and then cut into bite sized chunks and slices
  2. . Combine the vegetables and place in a shallow roasting dish.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the mixed vegetables and toss to coat.
  5. Roast vegetables until tender, which should take about 45 minutes. Stir halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.
  6. meanwhile cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, drain the pasta into a colander and run under cold water until cool, return to the saucepan.
  7. add the cooked vegetables to the cooled pasta and then stir in the cream cheese.
  8. leave to cool completely
  9. Stir in the baby spinach leaves and olives
  10. Divide into small airtight containers to take to lunch
  11. refrigerate until required

 

Top tip: to make a more substantial meal you can add cubed feta, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, ham, cooked chicken, poached salmon or salami to this dish