Did You Know? Noodles got their start in China, not Italy as many people might think.
I spent this weekend in my kitchen, cooking some meals for my sister who was home from school for the weekend. I thought she could use a break from all that cafeteria food. After a delicious Friday night of baking with my mom while watching one of our favorite movies, Pride and Prejudice, I thought we could use a nice healthy lunch on Saturday afternoon. The recipe I turned to is one I make a lot, for it incorporates some of my favorite flavors, cranberries and walnuts (you've probably noticed that I add them to just about everything).
The colors of this pasta dish are absolutely beautiful. The bright red, whites, and greens would make a lovely vegetarian addition to your holiday meal (I've already promised my sister I would make this for her on Christmas). This recipe is delicious warm, as it wilts the spinach below. But I also like to serve it cold, and replace the parmesan with some crumbly feta, and tossed with baby spinach - a perfect summer pasta salad. I'll leave you with the recipe, as I leave to watch Pride and Prejudice for the tenth time this weekend...
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
Salt and Pepper
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
Handful of walnuts, toasted and chopped, plus some for garnish
1 lb. campanelle pasta (or whichever shape you prefer)
Handful of dried cranberries, plus some for garnish
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus some for garnish
6 oz. baby spinach, washed and dried
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss broccoli and cauliflower with a few splashes of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling water, and start your onions. Heat a few splashes of olive oil in a large skillet, and saute the onions until transluscent. Turn the heat down a bit, season the onions with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until they are lightly caramelized, another twenty minutes or so.
While your pasta cooks, place the cranberries in a bowl and add about a half cup of the pasta water to plump them up a bit while you continue to assemble the meal.
When the pasta is al dente, remove another half cup or so of the pasta water to add back to the dish, before you drain it. Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot on the stove, and add the roasted broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cranberries, walnuts, parmesan, and some salt and pepper to taste. Moisten with the additional pasta water, a good drizzle of olive oil, and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Toss to combine, while the heat of the stove melts the cheese and melds the flavors.
Place the washed spinach on your serving platter, and top with the hot pasta. Garnish with additional cranberries, walnuts, and parmesan, and enjoy!