Friday, January 1, 2010

To your health -- pasta with broccoli and cherry tomatoes

Here's a simple recipe for New Year's weekend--colorful, flavorful and with ingredients your body will thank you for. From the broccoli, you get antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin A; tomatoes add lycopene and Vitamin C; olive oil provides mono-unsaturated fats (the best kind); and whole-grain pasta adds more fiber and other important vitamins and nutrients. A little cheese brings calcium and protein--not to mention a delicious salty flavor!

Recipe: Roasted broccoli and grape tomatoes with rotini pasta

(Serves 3-4)

Feel free to add cooked shrimp or chicken to this recipe if you want extra protein. Or go the other direction--skip the cheese to make the dish vegan.


5 cups broccoli florets and stems, cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups grape tomatoes

1 large shallot, minced

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 T olive oil, plus more for greasing cookie sheet

2 T black olives, sliced

2 T capers, rinsed and drained

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups uncooked rotini or other pasta, preferably whole-grain

Grated or shredded parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil rimmed baking sheet.

2. Toss first five ingredients (broccoli through olive oil) in a large mixing bowl until vegetables are evenly coated with oil. Add salt and pepper.

3. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 12 minutes, stirring once midway through cooking.

4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving one-half cup of cooking liquid.

5. Toss pasta with roasted vegetables and cooking liquid. Add capers, olives and lemon juice, mixing well.

6. Pass grated cheese at the table, if desired.

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