roasted broccoli + parm pasta


this recipe is part of the Yay For Earth Challenge III, a 5 day meal plan for healthier/more sustainable eating put together by me and Stevie.

An easy, quick and comforting winter pasta with plenty of green to balance it out.  You can use any green or cauliflower or squash etc instead of the broccoli.  If you don’t want to use the oven, you can throw in the broccoli with the pasta during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.  In the picture I used kale instead of broccoli- but you get the point, you can really adapt it to any veggie.  Just don’t leave out the parm.

2 large heads broccoli / 2 bunches broccoli rabe or broccolini
dried pasta, I used 12 ounces for 4 servings
olive oil- enough to coat the broccoli + 4 tablespoons extra virgin for the rest
4+ cloves garlic
1.5 cups / 1 can cannellini or great northern beans
1 lemon, skin zested finely + set aside, lemon cut into quarters
crumbly parm (or 1/2 cup well-toasted walnuts, chopped)
red chili flakes

Preheat oven to 425F / 218C.  Meanwhile, start a pot of generously salted water boiling for the pasta, and cut up the broccoli (peel the stem if tough, but use the stem + florets) into bite size pieces (if using broccolini or broccoli rabe, use it whole, trimming any tough ends).  Toss with oil and generous sprinkling of salt and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet, roasting until tender and crispy at the edges, from 15-25 minutes depending on how large the pieces are.  Keep an eye on the to prevent burning- turn pieces over if needed.

When the water boils, add the pasta and set a timer for the corresponding cooking time.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, add the garlic with 3 tablespoons olive oil and set over a medium heat, watching closely as the garlic starts to cook and removing immediately with tongs or a fork when it turns a pale gold (careful not to go over or it will taste bitter/acrid).  Set garlic chips aside on a small plate and in the same pan with residual oil, add the beans and a pinch of salt and stir to heat through.  Your pasta should be done by now- if not, just set the beans aside off-heat until the pasta is ready.  Scoop a bit of the starchy pasta cooking water out of the pot and then drain the pasta.

Into the pan with the beans, add the drained pasta and 1 tbsp more olive oil, toss well to combine, adding a splash or two cooking water if needed to moisten.  Remove from heat and add the lemon zest and a big pinch of salt.  Divide between bowls, adding the garlic chips on top and liberally sprinkling over the vegan parm or walnuts and serving each bowl with a wedge of lemon and plenty of chili flakes.