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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Penne I

w/ Roasted cherry tomatoes:

Are you reading this? Penne I? Really, and you (me) an English major? Couldn't you come up with something any more interesting? The truth is... no. Sure Penne I evokes the image of some grotesque little space ship but let's not get above ourselves. If I had written "Lemon and Parmesan sauced Penne with Chickpeas and Cherry Tomatoes" would you still be reading? Actually, that has quite a ring to it.

I digress. Bear in mind: a) We're beginners here and b) funny sounding legumes can be scary. I, personally, adore those little peach shaped beans called garbanzos by some, chickpeas by others. Regardless, some people call them gross unless they are mashed and trussed up with garlic and lemon, ie. hummus. Oh hummus! The sauce for the pasta is simply reminiscent of that: olive oil, a little salt, lemon juice. Roasting the chickpeas was exhilarating and I think imparted an even nuttier flavor (whatever nuttier means). Likewise the cherry tomatoes get juicier post roast and a little wrinkled drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Basically it's delicious. Sweet tomatoes, zippy lemon and fruity olive oil and those darling little beans slightly crisp. The whole recipe takes about 30 minutes so long as you don't dilly dally like I just did. Top the dish with fresh grated Parmesan and you've got a light, tasty pasta dish ready to be enjoyed with a much deserved post-exam glass of sauvignon blanc.

Serves 2

4 oz penne pasta, regular or whole wheat
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup whole cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup canned chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

1. Put a pot of water on to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Usually 9-11 minutes.
2. Preheat the broiler, placing a shelve two notches from the top.
3. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and halve lengthwise. Place tomatoes cut side up in a shallow baking dish or cookie pan.
4. Place rinsed chickpeas in the pan with tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. *Placing your thumb over the spout of the olive oil bottle is helpful.
5. Sprinkle the tomatoes and chickpeas with salt and pepper. Place under broiler for 1o minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
6. Zest the lemon. In a small bowl juice the lemon, adding in the zest. Add one tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt.
7. Remove the tomato mixture from the broiler, add drained penne and the lemon and olive oil dressing. Stir until coated and check for seasoning. (You'll need to add a little extra salt). Top with Parmesan cheese.

... oh you wanted a photo too? Oh... I'll see what I can do.

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