Ahhh a recipe for you Lenten observers. Being a recovering Catholic myself, I no longer adhere to Lenten observances, but I used to and I know many who still do. So this recipe is very timely in that respect. Plus it's very easy and very yummy. Two big bonuses! So start with the broccoli. I found some gorgeous broccoli last week. It was so fresh the stalks so thin it almost looked like broccolini (which would also be great for this recipe)!
Wash it, and cut it into flowerettes with a nice sized stalk attached. You don't want them too long or too thick. If you have a lot of stalk left, cut those into same sized pieces as your flowerettes. Don't waste them! They are still good. Then place it all in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, give a good stir and put in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Check it after 30, if it's not browned enough, go another 5 - 10 minutes. You don't want it too dark, but you do want it caramelized.
While the broccoli is roasting, you should also be roasting your shallots and boiling your water for the pasta. OK, OK... I know I use shallots a lot. But I love them! They impart such a lovely flavor, especially when roasted. They are sweet and tender and oh, just a whole lot of yum. If don't have shallots or don't like shallots than use garlic and roast it!
Yes, I used three rather large shallots. You don't have to use that much but why wouldn't you? If you got em, use em! To roast, cut off the root end and put the shallots in foil, then drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over them and close up the foil. You may want to double foil them or what I do is after they wrapped in foil I put them on one of those foil pie tins and put the whole thing in the oven. Sometimes the oil can leak out of your foil and cause bad smells and an ugly mess on the oven floor.
When shallots come out of the oven (same time as the broccoli), cool them enough to touch them and then squeeze them out of their skins and give them a rough chop.
Depending on the kind of pasta you use, you'll need between 7 and 10 minutes before the broccoli and shallots are done to cook the pasta. I am using Barilla whole wheat spaghetti. It takes a little longer than regular spaghetti, but not by much.
So when all the ingredients are done at roughly the same time, oh yes... it can be done, mix them all together. Add salt and pepper to taste and about a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil if there isn't a lot of oil left over in the broccoli pan. You can also add the juice from the bottom of the foil that the shallots were cooked in. Don't waste the yum! You just want to make sure the pasta isn't dry. And wait! Don't forget our lemons! You will need the juice of at least two lemons. If they are juicy lemons, then two, if they aren't real juicy then three. Toss all of this together with some Parmesan cheese and you've got one delicious dinner!