Slow-roasted fennel, grape tomatoes, onion, black olives and zucchini seasoned generously with Herbs de Provence and tossed with pasta makes an effortless meal full of all sorts of deliciousness. Chewy, al dente pasta is the perfect vehicle for showcasing the melange of soft, tender vegetables and aromatic herbs.
The tomatoes become these little, deflated orbs full of juicy sweetness and acidity. Fennel becomes sweet and mellow and loses the strong, anise flavor it has when raw. The normally bland zucchini perks right up when surrounded by these all distinctly flavored ingredients. The acidity of the tomatoes and the pop of saltiness from the black olives and Parmesan cheese is a nice balance to all the savory sweetness.
Herbs de Provence is a wonderfully fragrant mix of savory, thyme, rosemary, fennel and lavender. You will find variations that may also include oregano, bay leaf, mint, tarragon and even orange zest. If this spice mix isn’t in your cabinet it should be! It’s a lovely French mix of herbs that I love using during the summer to bring out the best in fresh vegetables. It’s also good on fish and chicken and in soups and stews. You can easily make your own or use an Italian seasoning mix instead.
Slow-roasted vegetables with Herbs de Provence tossed with pasta makes for an effortless and delicious meal.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a large sheet pan or casserole dish.
- In a large mixing bowl toss fennel, fronds, zucchini, onion, olives and tomatoes with a few tablespoons olive oil, Herbs de Provence and plenty of salt and pepper. Use your hands to massage the oil and spices into the vegetables. Spread out on sheet pan and bake about 35-45 minutes.
- Cook pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water. Drain and toss with vegetables and additional extra-virgin olive oil if desired. Serve with plenty of grated cheese.
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