Thursday, June 3, 2010

Farfalle with Roasted Zucchini and Broccoli

When I was little, I think my understanding of adulthood was that you could do whatever you want, whenever you want to.  You can stay up til midnight on school nights and watch late night TV.  You can take a day off and go to the beach.  You can fill your home with cuddly puppies.  You can use your bedroom floor as a shelf.  You can eat breakfast for dinner.

Or, you could eat dessert for breakfast, which is what I did yesterday.  I generally try to be healthy, but that morning, I decided that there really is no point to being an adult if I can't eat chocolate cake for breakfast.  It was heavenly...and I regretted it 2 hours later.  I wasn't necessarily sick, but it did feel like my stomach was asking me, "Why did you do this to me? Feed me real food!" Weird, right?

I don't think I have ever craved vegetables before this year.  I abhorred them as a kid.  As I got older, I started to appreciate the taste of fresh vegetables and how they made my body feel strong when I ate them, but I mostly ate vegetables because I was supposed to, not because they were especially delicious. 

But after college, I discovered the joy of roasting vegetables.  I found out that when you drizzle vegetables with a little bit of olive oil and cook them at a high heat for half an hour or so, something amazing happens.  The natural sugars in the vegetables caramelize, the edges get a little charred, and vegetables become something you actually crave.  Seriously, during dinner tonight, David compared the broccoli to bacon.  It's that good.  You can tell by my liberal use of italics.

Anyways, since I was craving vegetables, I roasted some zucchini and broccoli and tossed it with some pasta and parmesan cheese for a quick and easy dinner.  And really, when you think about it?  What could be more adult than eating vegetables voluntarily?

Farfalle with Roasted Zucchini and Broccoli

8 oz farfalle pasta (bowtie shaped)
1 medium zucchini, cut into thick half moons
1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets
1/4 cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Toss zucchini and broccoli in olive oil.  Spread them out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with salt, and roast them for 20-25 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, boil the farfalle in the water for 13 minutes.  Save 3/4 cup of pasta water, and drain the pasta in a colander.

Dry out the pot that you were cooking the pasta in and drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil in the pot (enough to coat the bottom, but don't go overboard).  Put the pasta and reserved water back in the pot.  Add the cheese and pepper and stir until combined.  It may seem watery, but keep stirring, and the cheese and water will come together and thicken.  When the cheese and pasta is combined, remove from heat and stir in the vegetables. 

Serve with chopped basil and an extra sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan and pepper.

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