Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cheap and Fast: Penne with Broccoli

Happy Sunday! It has been one hellish week and I for one am actually glad to be starting a new week, even though that includes work. Lock-down on Friday brought an onslaught of emotions: fear, frustration, and pride all at the same time. Luckily I wasn't alone in my apartment. Every couple of hours my roommate Jill and I would force ourselves to turn off the news and find something new to do. Louis CK stand-up on HBO helped to lighten the mood a bit. I'm just glad it's all over, although I don't think I will ever forget the feeling of being afraid to go outside or open a window.

This recipe reminds me of home. It was always a staple growing up in my house, and you always knew when mom was making it because you could smell the garlic before you even walked in the door. When I would make this recipe in college I would have friends who lived upstairs from me poke their heads in the door and say "I knew it was you cooking. All I could smell was garlic coming up the stairs!" This recipe has roasted garlic, Parmesan cheese and pasta. For me, nothing says comfort food quite like this recipe.

This recipe is so simple that I typically have everything it calls for on-hand except the broccoli: garlic, pasta, Parmesan cheese, olive oil. Broccoli was on sale cheap this week so I picked up a couple of heads and here we are! This broccoli was pre-packaged as a special of the day. You can often find broccoli packaged this way when it doesn't sell as quickly as the grocery store would like. It's perfect if you're planning on using it that day.

The broccoli is my favorite part so I typically double the amount the recipe calls for. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes into the oil and garlic this time and it worked wonderfully. I've made those adjustments to the recipe below. This recipe is fast, cheap, and vegetarian as well! Enjoy!

Penne with Broccoli

8 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ cup Olive Oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 large stalk or 4 smaller stalks of broccoli, chopped
1 pound box penne pasta
Black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Place finely chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and oil together in oven-proof bowl and roast for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees F until garlic begins to brown. While this is baking, steam broccoli for 5 minutes and boil water for penne. After garlic has roasted, place with oil into large nonstick pan with steamed broccoli and stir penne for 10 minutes, drain and add garlic/broccoli mixture. Stir well. Add pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.

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