- 1/2 pound dried whole wheat penne or bow-tie pasta
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or around 5 garlic cloves finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 pound broccoli (about 4 medium, tightly packed florets), chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
- Sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled while still cold (around 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Parmesan)
- 1/2 small lemon, juiced
About this recipe
Four guys were coming over for dinner. I was on the hunt for a vegetarian recipe that would satisfy the carnivorous 20-something males armed with PBR and appetites. Fortunately, I stumbled upon a recipe for Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese and Broccoli Pasta. With a few modifications, it was more than well-received. (Can you really ever go wrong with goat cheese?) Instead of just using red pepper flakes, we whipped up our own mix of spices to give it some flavor and heat. I also sprung for the whole wheat penne instead of regular pasta (the fiber makes it more filling). The recipe, adapted from Cookie + Kate, is posted below!
Adapted from The Fresh & Green Table by Susie Middleton
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (Make sure to have both a colander AND a glass measuring cup ready for when the pasta is done.)
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, as directed on the package instructions.
- Remove the pot from heat and ladle/pour about 1 cup of the pasta water in the glass measuring cup.
- Drain the pasta in the colander.
- In a small pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to simmer.
- Cook for about 3 minutes to infuse the oil with spicy, garlicky flavor, but do not let the garlic brown.
- Pour and scrape the seasoned oil into the heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet and heat over medium-low until shimmering.
- Add the broccoli and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli has turned bright green (about eight minutes). Don’t quit cooking prematurely here; you want the broccoli to be nice and toasty.
- Get out the pan’s lid or a cookie sheet and keep it handy. Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan.
- Measure out 1/3 cup pasta water (keep the rest for later) and pour it into the pan. Cover the pan with your lid or cookie sheet and continue cooking until the water has simmered down to almost nothing, about 30 seconds. Uncover and remove the pan from heat.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan and drizzle in all of the infused oil. Give it a stir, then add the goat cheese and most of the Parmigiano. Stir until everything is well distributed.
- Add another 1 to 2 tablespoons pasta water, the lemon juice, and stir until the goat cheese loosens up and gets creamier. Season to taste with salt and add a tablespoon more pasta water or additional goat cheese if you’d like it to be more creamy. If it seems dry at all, add a little splash of olive oil and mix well.
- Serve right away, garnished with the remaining Parmigiano.