The key to any good dish is timing. This recipe is no exception. You have the oven and three burners going at once so the key is to make sure they all finish within a few minutes of each other. Everything ends up in the same large bowl, but needs to be cooked separately. Which makes this a particularly difficult recipe to explain, but easy to make, so do not get discouraged by the lengthy instructions, each step is actually quite easy.
To help you out with cooking times here is a quick break down of each cooking process and how long it takes each step to cook:
Oven roasted tomatoes: 35-40m
Parboiled veggies: 10m
Boiled pasta: 10m (dry)/3m (fresh)
Sautéd shallot and pepperoni: 6m
Preparation time: Cooking time: Total Time:
(e.g. kosher salt)
extra virgin olive oil
(the skinnier the better)
yellow summer squash
dried red pepper flakes
grated Pecorino Romano cheese
(or grated Parmesan cheese)
Put the tomatoes in a bowl and mix them with the garlic, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Flat tire the tomatoes: Pour the tomato mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet or small casserole dish, cover loosely with aluminum foil and roast in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and look like little flat tires and the garlic is roasted. The aluminum is mostly to protect the oven from tomato splatter when they burst.
Chop the asparagus into 2” long pieces. Chop the yellow squash and zucchini into bite-sized half moons. Parboil these veggies by putting them into a saucepan and covering with cold water. Place on the stovetop and turn the burner on to high. Set a timer for 10 minutes, when the timer goes off the veggies are done. They should be lightly cooked, soft but not mushy. As soon as they are done strain off the water, put the veggies into a large bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water up to a boil for the pasta. Once the tomatoes are about 10 minutes from being done you can put the spaghetti in the water. Follow package directions, this should take 10 minutes for dried or 3 minutes for fresh. When the pasta is finished, drain it and place it in the large bowl with the veggies.
Heat a sauté pan over medium high and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until warm but not smoking. Add the shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the pepperoni and dried red pepper flakes, sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over the pasta in the large bowl.
When the tomatoes are finished pour them on top of the veggies and pasta in the large bowl and toss everything together.
Add the basil, oregano, spinach and parmesan to the large bowl and toss again. The heat from the pasta will wilt the spinach slightly, and melt the cheese.
Serve right away! This dish is best when it is hot!