Spicy Roasted Broccoli Pasta
Spicy Roasted Broccoli Pasta
I adore pasta and could probably eat it every day, but try to limit myself to no more than once a week (unless in Italy, then all bets are off and I have pizza and pasta every day.) I have my favorite dishes, but am always open to new ones, particularly ones that have a different twist, so that brought me this recipe which I made last weekend. First off, it is only slightly easier than traditional recipes (you still boil the pasta,) but it has an interesting flavor profile, is quite tasty, and does heat up well. In our wacky winter-spring/summer-winter weather flips, at least there is plenty of broccoli, so why not find a new way to enjoy it. One note: unless you really like cumin (I do,) I would lessen the amount used or leave it off entirely. Note two: I will be on vacation next week, so no post next Friday, but will be back again at the end of March.
- 2 ½ pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds(optional)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 12 ounces chiocciole or other tube-shaped pasta
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces best quality, whole milk ricotta
- Fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together broccoli, oil, cumin (if using), 3/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Roast until tender and browned at the edges, 18 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and set oven to broil.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan, panko, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the black pepper.
- Toss cooked pasta with broccoli on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dollop with ricotta. Sprinkle with Parmesan mix, drizzle generously with oil, and broil until topping is crisped and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste, and serve.
Think of this as the sheet pan version of a classic, cheese-covered pasta bake. It’s got all the elements of the usual casserole — the pasta and vegetables tossed with ricotta and topped with Parmesan-dusted bread crumbs. But because all the ingredients are spread out on a sheet pan instead of being piled into a baking dish, everything browns, which in turn means more crunch and crisp edges. First, the broccoli is roasted until it softens and browns. Then, the other ingredients are spooned on top, and everything is quickly baked, making for a speedy, vegetarian weeknight meal. It’s worth seeking out really good ricotta here. With so few ingredients, every one makes a difference.