meatless monday: pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes and mushrooms

When I was a young child, one with a distinctively smaller social circle and life experiences, I carried with me a larger-than-life simplistic deduction; that a vegetarian is, and by no other means had to be, a Buddhist. I’m guessing it had to do with the fact one of my best friends back then, JM, was a Chinese Buddhist, who coincidentally was a vegetarian, and also showed more interest in sucking the tips of her shoulder-length hair while every other girl was twirling theirs, but that’s another story for another day. I respected her home-packed green lunches, as much as she never questioned why I only ate from the stall with the green plastic plates. It was an unspoken mutual understanding between us, and even a common allegiance of sorts, with a straight-faced ‘She doesn’t eat meat’/’She doesn’t eat pork’ defence mechanism each time some brat comes by and attempts a ridicule.

We kept in touch even after we went to different coloured pinafore-d schools, our hand-made envelopes enthusiastically coloured and decorated, complete with a ‘Thank You, Mr Postman!’ speech balloon at the bottom left. What began with conversations revolving around insights on a new wish-you-were-here school, soon enough grew with age and centered around philosophical musings and existential thoughts. During the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan of one year, JM even attempted to fast from dawn till dusk for a day, and having had barely survive a whole day without food and water in school, replied with a ‘How do you do it?!’, to which I reciprocated with ‘How do you go without meat?!’. Therein lies the discussion of what if everyone went halal or vegetarian for just a day. Would it be unbearably difficult for those who can’t go a day without alcohol; would it be horridly torturous for those whose plates can’t stray from meat; could this ever be a new world order? Of course being young impressionable teenagers gave us the prerogative to view the world with a little over-the-top dramatics, but the experience and concomitant conversations thereafter brought about gained respect for each other.

I can’t exactly remember when or where I had first learned of Meatless Monday, but I do remember finding the concept and rationale behind their ‘one day a week, cut out meat’ mantra poignant and an eye-opener, to say the least. Whilst I am most certainly far from proselytising vegetarianism (myself being a meat-lover, albeit more of a white meat-lover), and not about to jump on any holier-than-thou carriage here, I say what’s the harm in trying. If two 14-year-olds could hypothesize a day of going vegetarian (or halal) solely on the basis of religious understanding and world peace (oh yes, we went there), why shouldn’t you go meatless once a week, given all the benefits awaiting your health, and the environment’s. Oh, and just so you know, if the younger me and JM had known that a completely meatless pasta simply strewn with roasted cherry tomatoes and mushrooms could have tasted this good, we would have taken over the world. I’m pretty sure of it.

Pasta With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Mushrooms
(serves two)

1/2 pound linguine
200g cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
200g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 clove garlic, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Combine tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic in a pan, and drizzle olive oil generously. Roast the mixture for about 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have burst open and softened.
  3. In the meantime, bring salted water to a boil, and cook the linguine until al-dente. Drain and toss into the roasted tomato mixture.
  4. Serve the pasta with ground black pepper or fresh basil.

8 thoughts on “meatless monday: pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes and mushrooms

  1. the mister

    First of all, LURRRRRRRRRRVEEE the gorgeous photos!

    Second of all, props for the thoughtful whimsical entry.

    Thoughtful, poignant mullings over a plate of pasta?

    Count me in with extra mushrooms, please! 😀

  2. thecoffeesnob

    This really is such a sweet tribute to JM and how you guys didn’t quite understand each other’s dietary differences but respected it all the same.

    Now I guess here comes the part where I admit that I went vegetarian for about a year when I was 16. I still do have the odd one or two meals a month where I go meatless but having gone back to eating meat now, giving up meat completely does seem like a tall order.

    Anyway, I’m not a fan of tomatoes but that plate of pasta sure looks inviting!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      How interesting! But yeah, I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I guess if someone grew up vegetarian from the beginning (like JM), you won’t really feel like you’re missing out on anything at all.

  3. Sarah@buttered-up

    Glad you’re also following Meatless Monday! Sometimes we have meat on Monday and skip it on Tuesday. Hehe. I think I would add black olives to this pasta. But then again, I love black olives with carbs. Love how simple this is. Garlic is a favorite here. 🙂

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      I must admit that I only love black olives for their colour, not so much the taste 😛 Garlic’s a definite must for me though!

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