Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pasta with roasted broccoli, olives, and Pecorino


My shopping habits at the farmers' market have changed quite a bit over the last two years. Two years ago, I would eagerly buy anything I hadn't tried before - heirloom tomatoes! fresh shell beans! celery root! - because I was so excited by all the variety. Now, I've tried almost everything at least once, and I know what I like best and what's most convenient for the amount of time I have available for cooking. I know that celery root just isn't my favorite, fresh shell beans are kind of a pain, and that while heirloom tomatoes are fantastic, regular tomatoes are pretty great too and are a lot better for my budget. This year, I've also found myself enjoying broccoli much more than I used to. In 2010, I posted about how broccoli is kind of boring,  but I feel differently now. I love the way broccoli soaks up sauce and the texture it has after being stir-fried or roasted.

For dinner tonight, I decided to make a pasta salad of sorts, combining rotini with roasted broccoli and shallots, garlic, olives, and pecorino cheese. It was a tasty and enjoyable meal, definitely far from boring!


Pasta with roasted broccoli, olives, and Pecorino
Makes 4-6 servings

I imagine that anchovies would be a great addition to this, although I didn't try it. If you want to add them, I suggest chopping up a couple fillets and sauteing them with the garlic.

12 oz. rotini (I used whole wheat)
20 oz. broccoli, florets cut into small pieces, stems peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
Olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 cup coarsely grated Pecorino cheese

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Toss broccoli and shallots with a splash of olive oil and spread onto a sheet pan. Roast vegetables in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until broccoli is crisp-tender and browned in spots, and shallots are tender. Remove vegetables from oven and roughly chop shallots.

While vegetables roast, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, then drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. 

After draining pasta, heat a small splash of olive oil in the pasta pot. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and stir in pasta, broccoli, shallots, olives, red pepper flakes, and Pecorino. Season with salt to taste. Serve warm or at room termperature.


  1. Broccoli is my favorite veggie, so I'm already a fan of this - looks great!

  2. I'm glad you've found your love for broccoli :-)

  3. I've actually been craving broccoli a lot lately even though I think I was kind of bored of it for a while. Now I'm back on the bandwagon! Great pasta dish!

  4. i didn't eat much broccoli last year... not sure why, but i guess i just kept grabbing for the kale ;) this looks fantastic though!

    ps- sorry i was so out of it the day i ran into you at the farmers market! hopefully i will run into you more often :)

    1. haha, I thought I was the one that was out of it that day! Hopefully we'll see each other around town soon

  5. Mmm olives are something I forget to add to pasta. This looks great!!

  6. I actually make a very similar pasta dish quite often (with lots of anchovies but no olives) - I love the texture and flavor from the roasted broccoli! Next time I will try adding shallots like you did here :)