It’s the same old story: PASTA. I love pasta. There is no other way to say it. I think I have only heard maybe once or twice in my lifetime someone say they didn’t like pasta. Honestly my first thought was: “we can’t be friends, who doesn’t like pasta?!!!”. Sad but true….that’s me making friends through food since 1969!
So here I am making more pasta and trying to incorporate what I love most: roasted vegetables. It’s my easy out on weeknights when I am hurrying to make dinner: cut all the veggies, put them in a large bowl, drizzle olive oil, a few good grinds of fresh pepper and a generous amount of kosher salt. In the oven it goes at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (or until all my other dishes come together…if we are being honest here!) It truly is a no-brainer. My kids absolutely love roasted vegetables, really any will work or a combination of a few or many…. a great clean your fridge type of dish.
I am sure you could substitute the broccoli but I think the flavor and color just makes a gorgeous anytime dish. The finishing touch with the toasted breadcrumbs is absolutely fantastic. I guess you could use store-bought breadcrumbs but you would be cheating yourself….trust me…the extra little step is worth it! AND you can do it ahead of time!
3 broccoli heads (one package usually has 2-3)
1 onion minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t like spicy)
1 cup dry white wine (or chicken/vegetable broth if you prefer)
1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
1 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs (see below on how to)
1 lb pasta (I like rigatoni for this dish but I think any short “fat” noodles will work)
Parmesan Cheese for serving
For the toasted breadcrumbs:
In your food processor pulse 2-3 pieces of country bread to make about 1 cup (this is not an exact science but it’s just delicious madness). In a medium size pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add your fresh breadcrumbs and gently toast while stirring…I suggest you keep an eye on them…they tend to burn rather quickly! Add 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. When nicely toasted set them aside until ready to use.
For your roasted broccoli:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
Cut your broccoli, including the stem (I cut about 1-2 inches off the bottom but I always use the stem). It is DELICIOUS! Taste the same as the florets and loaded with vitamins! No waste! Put in a large bowl, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper. Toss everything well and put in your prepared baking sheet. Put in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. When done set aside until ready to use.
For the pasta and sauce:
Cook pasta according to package directions, but I would suggest you cook them very “al dente”. They will continue to cook for a minute or so in the pan. Keep 1 cup of your cooking water.
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add your pepper flake and gently heat while stirring (so nothing burns and gets bitter) for about 1-2 minutes. Add your onions and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add you garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add your wine and gently simmer until reduced by about half. Add your broccoli, chopped basil, cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of your pasta water. Toss everything together well and let this cook for 1-2 minutes more.
Time to serve; put your pasta and broccoli in a serving plate (no really….) top with parmesan cheese and a big ol’ amount of toasted breadcrumbs. Dive it! So fabulous! I could eat this everyday!
Printer Friendly: Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Peace and We Have To Be Friends,