penne with roasted summer vegetables and a roasted garlic and basil goat cheese sauce

Whew!  What a title, yeah?  I tried and tried and tried to condense it down but I just couldn’t leave out any of the amazing parts of this dish.  This recipe has been brewing in my mind for quite some time now, and was really a love child of a number of recipes I have seen.  I combined the idea of roasted summer vegetables with penne pasta from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food with the concept of a creamy goat cheese sauce from lots of sources, and added my own twist of basil and roasted garlic to come up with a super flavorful pasta dish.  

This pasta is seriously bursting with every summer flavor possible.  It has a handful of summer vegetables including summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes, my all-time favorite summer herb, basil, and creamy, delicious goat cheese.  To add a depth to the sauce, I roasted some garlic with the vegetables, and added it to the goat cheese sauce in the food processor.  The process of roasting garlic tames down the bitterness of raw garlic so it is more mild, but still has a wonderful garlic flavor.  

So here’s the plan.  Next weekend, you visit your local farmers market, snag up tons of fun summer produce, and on Sunday night you treat yourself to this tasty pasta dish.  Okay?  Okay!

Penne with Summer Roasted Vegetables and a Roasted Garlic and Basil Goat Cheese Sauce

8 oz penne pasta
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 summer squash, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 tomatoes, de-seeded and cut into 1/2″ strips
1 red onion, cut into large chunks
1 head of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup goat cheese (I’d estimate this to be about 6 oz)
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  

Chop up all of the vegetables.  You can really cut them however you prefer, but I gave my estimate of how large I chopped mine.  For the garlic, you simply take a whole head of garlic, peel the outer layers of skin off, and slice about 1/2″ of the pointed end off to expose the cloves.  Here is a pictorial “how-to” of roasting garlic.  

Place zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, onion, and head of garlic onto a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and lightly toss them around to get the olive oil evenly distributed.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  

Bake in preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes, checking and tossing every 15 minutes.  

Bring pot of water to boiling, and prepare pasta as directed on package.  Drain.  (I started this when the vegetables had about 20 minutes left to go).  

While the veggies are roasting and pasta is cooking, you can prepare the goat cheese sauce.  Put the goat cheese, milk/cream, basil, and parmesan cheese into a food processor.  If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a blender or hand-held immersion blender.  Pulse about 10 times to get everything combined.  Keep the sauce in the food processor, as you will add the roasted garlic when it is finished roasting and pulse a few more times.  To extract the cloves from the skin, simply use your fingers or a little fork.  

When vegetables are done, add garlic to sauce.  Combine pasta, vegetables, and goat cheese sauce in a large bowl or pot, and mix.  Serve in pasta bowls, and garnish with parmesan if you want.  

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