Thursday, 30 April 2015

Pasta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Broccoli & Lemon

Blimey! Well it has certainly been a while since I posted. To say the least. Usually I annoy myself by excusing myself for the laxity of my posting but on this occasion I have a really, really good excuse - I only went and had a flipping baby! Two months ago in fact but today he is blissfully napping and for once I don't have a million other things to try and cram into these infrequent moments of quiet.

So without further ado, onto the recipe. Essentially this is adapted from here but I decided to make my own oven-roasted tomatoes as I had the time to do so (obviously we're going back a while and this was pre-baby: if you choose to do the same, make them ahead of time: either a couple of hours before you cook the pasta or further in advance as they will keep for a little while, particularly if you coat them in a bit more olive oil. Otherwise you could buy some sunblush tomatoes from the shop.

Obviously if I had the time to do the tomatoes I probably should have also made pesto but we had a little in the fridge from a chicken dish I had made a few nights before (Prosciutto wrapped chicken with asparagus for dinner guests).

I should really have used feta here, as per the original recipe, but I’d already bought some ricotta for a different recipe (this one) so decided to use that. In all honesty I think feta would have worked better in both: it has a lovely salty tang that would work well. The ricotta doesn’t really add anything. Lesson learned and all that!

Wholewheat Penne with Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Broccoli & Lemon
serves 2

150-200g whole wheat penne
100g tenderstem broccoli
10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 fat garlic clove, sliced plus 1 small garlic clove, crushed
few sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp basil pesto
20g ricotta (or feta)
juice of ½ lemon
small handful basil leaves, chiffonaded

To make the oven-roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 150C and in a bowl toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, sliced garlic, thyme and some freshly ground black pepper and sea salt together.

Leave to one side for about ten minutes.

Line an oven-proof tray with baking parchment and tip the tomatoes and seasonings out onto it, spreading out quite reasonably.

Pop in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, turning the tray halfway through. Turn the oven down to about 100C and roast for a further 45 minutes, again turning the tray after 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Cook the penne according to package directions. Adding the broccoli for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking.

Drain and return both the pasta and broccoli to the pan over a low heat.

Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan with the pasta and baby broccoli and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the pesto, half of the ricotta, and the lemon juice. Toss in the pan until well combined. Remove from heat and add most of the basil.

Serve immediately sprinkled with the remaining ricotta and basil.

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