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When You Have a Closet Full of Pasta

Published May 16, 2019 • Last Updated 02:52 pm, May 14, 2019

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When I moved from the 1690 house in Old Lyme (six bedrooms, four bathrooms, plus a couple of outbuildings) to a condo with no attic, no basement, two bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms, a galley kitchen, and a living room/dining room), I swore I would never buy a single thing for one of those rooms until I got rid of something else.

And I have been pretty good.

Actually even better than good.

I said the same thing about clothing. I have not been good about that. Actually, worse than not good. I have three closets in the master bedroom and they are full. I am gradually weeding out clothing I don’t wear and taking them to Goodwill. The shoes, however, are a problem and, considering that I never wear shoes in my condo, the shoe situation is terrible. I am getting rid of them, too (size 7—let me know!)

As for food, I really wish there were no big-box stores. I buy big jars of Dijon mustard, packages of stuffing mix and my freezer is full of chicken (buy one, get two free). My hall closet has a few coats and way too many boxes of pasta. When I came close to buying another two-pack of zillion-ounce bottles of ketchup, I realized it is time to hoe that closet out. I found a few boxes of whole wheat pasta and decided to make a roasted vegetable dish I have not made since the 20-oughts. Here is this really nice recipe.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Roasted Vegetables with Whole Wheat Pasta

Adapted from Rachael Ray’s show on ABC

Yield: around 6 to 8


1 large head of garlic

extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, peeled, quartered, and cut into chunks

1 small to medium eggplant, peeled, sliced vertically, and cut into chunks

2 small zucchinis, halved or quartered, cut into chunks

1 large red pepper, cut, seeded, and cut into chunks

2 pints of grape tomatoes

1 16-ounce package of whole wheat pasta

(penne, rigatoni or the like)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


To roast garlic: Set oven to 350. Cut about ¼ off the top of the head of garlic. Place bottom side down on a piece of aluminum, pour some oil on the cut side, and tightly make an aluminum package. Place package in oven and roast for around 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool. (You can make this the next day or make a few heads. It will keep for days.)

Heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Set oven to 350 degrees. In a large cookie sheet, put all the vegetables onto the sheet, drip olive oil on the vegetables, salt and pepper, and, with hands, toss the veggies. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes. 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, put grape tomatoes onto another sheet and roast. Remove tomatoes and vegetables from the oven.

Around the time you put the tomatoes into the oven, pour the pasta into boiling water.

In a large bowl, squeeze garlic cloves from the head of garlic. Add salt and pepper. Drain pasta, but take about a cup of pasta water into the bowl with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk or mash the garlic and boiling water. Add pasta along with all the vegetables (including tomatoes) and grated cheese and toss.


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