The first day over 60 degrees always feels like a warm hug.
I really hate winter and would happily move somewhere with 2-3 seasons a year. All winter long I’ve been looking forward to open windows, the sound of wind and rain, and the sun warming my skin. Spring brings with it hope and possibility along with a wide range of activities that were previously out of the question.
Still, there are a few winter activities that are hard for me to give up. One of these is cooking long, hot meals in the oven. Roasting vegetables is generally out of the question (or at least a bad idea) on a 90 degree day so I thought I’d get at least one last good roast in with this garlic and broccoli penne.
This recipe for roasted garlic and broccoli penne is so easy and gives you plenty of room to improvise or make substitutions. Use whatever amount of broccoli you have on hand or swap in sweet potato, sauteed spinach, or caramelized onions. Garlic takes on a sweet, mellow flavor when fully roasted so this amount is just right for me. If it seems like too much for you, however, cut it back by as much as you’d like.
Add protein to the dish by using a high fiber pasta, adding diced, cooked chicken, or some toasted pine nuts. Either way this will be a fast and easy way to get a flavorful dinner on the table that your family will love!
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Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Penne
- 1 head garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,, plus more for roasting
- 1 large or 2 small heads broccoli,, cut into small florets
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Cut the top off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic tightly in a piece of aluminum foil and place in the oven until the cloves are dark and very soft, about 45 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you are able to handle it, then squeeze the pulp out of the skin or remove it gently with a butter knife.
- Meanwhile, rub broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until beginning to brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes, tossing once if desired.
- While the vegetables are cooking bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Just before it is done cooking, reserve 1/2 a cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta but do not rinse.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roasted garlic to the pan and mash into a paste with the back of a spoon or fork. Add the roasted broccoli and continue to mash a bit, adding a splash or two of pasta water to make a sauce. When all the ingredients are hot and slightly mashed add the pasta and 1/4 cup of Parmesan and toss to coat. You can add another tablespoon of olive oil or a bit more pasta water if you want it a little saucier. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve pasta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.