I haven't been posting much lately because the lack of a sense of smell and taste has seriously cut down on my cooking and baking. It's hard to be satisfied when you have no smell or taste whatsoever, so I've been eating foods that have some texture and way more cheese than is good for your system. Pizza, onion soup au gratin, and grilled cheese are about the only things that satisfy. However, that is not a balanced diet and I feel sorry for Larry, so yesterday I took advantage of the beautiful basil growing in my windowboxes and some wonderful broccoli I picked up at the farmers' market and made a healthy, easy pasta dish.
1 pkg frozen ricotta cavatelli
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the cavatelli according to package directions. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water. As they cook, heat about 1 1/2 tbs olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook the garlic until golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully so the garlic crisps and doesn't burn. About 4-5 minutes before the garlic is done, add the broccoli to the pan and cook; it will be crisp tender. Add the pasta to the vegetable mix and toss with additional olive oil (start with a tablespoon and add to taste), salt, pepper, grated cheese, and just enough pasta water to moisten. Top with chopped basil.
If you haven't eaten cavatelli, they are lighter than gnocchi, but more satisfying than penne or ziti. Mom and I used to make our own for Easter. You form them with your thumb and after rolling some 5 pounds, let me tell you, your thumb is numb!