1 pound whole wheat penne
4 small or 2 medium zucchini, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium yellow squash or 1 small eggplant, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1 red pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1 red onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup basil (about 20 leaves)
3/4 cup flat leaf parsley (3 handfuls of leaves)
1/4 cup mint leaves (a generous handful)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
1 cup ricotta cheese
A little freshly grated or ground nutmeg, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add salt and the pasta and cook until al dente. Heads up: you will need a cup of starchy cooking liquid just before you drain pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, place chopped zucchini, yellow squash or eggplant, red pepper and red onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons EVOO over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
While vegetables are roasting, place the almonds, basil, parsley, mint and garlic in a food processor. Pulse the processor while drizzling in the 1/4 cup EVOO. Transfer the herb mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, a little freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg, to taste; set aside.
Stir starchy cooking water into herb paste. Remove the roasted vegetables from the baking sheet and add to herb mixture in the large mixing bowl.Toss the pasta with the vegetables and sauce and adjust seasoning. Top each serving with dollops of the ricotta cheese to stir in. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to www.yum-o.org.