February 24, 2008

Broccoli with Caramelized Pearl Onions Pasta

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz pearl onions*
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
to serve: 14-16 oz hot short pasta (like penne)
parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oil in a large pan and add the garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper and pearl onions. Saute until the onions are starting to caramelize, then saute in the mushrooms for about 1 minute. Add broccoli and cook until almost tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with pasta.

*I don't normally use frozen onions but the thought of peeling dozens of pearl onions repells me. The frozen ones work just as well in this dish, I just defrosted them about halfway before cooking.

My thoughts:
This is one of those "use up what we have on hand" recipes that really turned out well. I swear that bag of pearl onions moved with us when we bought house house in July of 2005. They were still good and they caramelized like a dream.

As a side note: I've been wanting to try Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta, which has three times the fiber of regular pasta and as much calcium as an eight-ounce glass of milk per serving, so I used that instead of my usual Barilla. And you know what? It really did taste and have the texture of regular pasta. I wish it came in more shapes though, I only have so many uses for spagetti and penne.