Pasta with Roasted Broccoli, Tomatoes and Olives

This dish offers a winning flavor combination deepened in the roasting.  You’ll find the vegetables are fabulous on their own or tossed with cooked grains like brown rice or farro.  Even piled on toasted baguette slices.  We enjoy the partnership with orzo or Israeli couscous (the whole-wheat version pictured above).  The itty-bitty pasta creates a smooth, easy bite that hardly needs chewing.   Like hundreds of tiny, soft balls.  So adorable, who can resist?  This is the perfect summer dish when the garden bed is loaded with cherry tomatoes.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • One pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head broccoli, florets and tender stems cut into small pieces (about 1 inch)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about one tablespoon)
  • One pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/4 cup orzo or Israeli couscous
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, optional
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil.  Place broccoli on a separate baking sheet, coat lightly with oil.  Season tomatoes and broccoli with salt and freshly ground pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon per sheet).  Roast until tender about 20-25 minutes each.  During last 10 minutes, add garlic and red pepper to the broccoli and toss to combine.  Turn vegetables on each baking sheet at least once during cooking.
  2. Meanwhile bring a medium pot full of water to boil.  Add orzo or couscous and simmer until done (al dente for orzo and a little softer for couscous).  Orzo will probably take about 15 minutes, couscous more like 20 minutes.  Drain.
  3. Toast pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat, frequently shaking the pan to turn the nuts as they cook.  Keep on eye on the pan as nuts burn easily. Remove from heat and cool.
  4. When vegetables and pasta are done cooking add drained pasta and broccoli with garlic to the baking sheet with the tomatoes.  Mix everything together with a spatula right on the baking sheet — to soak up all the pan juices.   Add the pine nuts and olives and stir again. Drizzle with extra olive oil before serving, if desired.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
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