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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pasta with Trees

So, I just love Rachael Ray. I think she's just too cute. I was paging through her website of recipes last night, trying to come up with this week's menu, which would result in today's grocery shopping list. This is the only recipe I found on her site that sounded even remotely good to me (if you don't know me, I am pickier than any kid you'll ever meet). I made it tonight (with a few minor alterations, listed in red below) and it was so good, I couldn't stop eating it!! Yummy!!

1/2 pound pasta (penne rigate, corkscrew, cavatappi, elbows, or medium shells) (I used whole wheat pasta to bump up the nutrition)
2 pounds broccolini, ends trimmed about 1 inch from the bottom (since I have no clue what "broccolini" is, I used regular broccoli instead. VERY TASTY!!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 small onion, chopped (I stress SMALL, unless you are having a love affair with onion - I used too much and it was way too much)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half (I did not use these, gross)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (I did not use this, eeewwww)
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese (doubled up on this)

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.

While the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil, start the broccolini: Place a large skillet with high sides with 1 to 2 inches of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Add some salt and broccolini, using a spoon or tongs settle the broccolini into the water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, drain and reserve.

Return the skillet to the stovetop and place over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic, and season with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Add the broccolini to the pan and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the ricotta and Parmigiano with a ladleful of the pasta cooking liquid, salt and pepper in a serving dish. Stir to combine.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and the pasta to the skillet with the broccolini.

Add broccolini and pasta to the serving bowl and toss with the ricotta/Parmigiano mixture. Season to taste. Top with the grape tomatoes and serve.