The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Creamy Garlic Pasta with Charred Broccoli

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Level: Easy

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Description

Some nights call for a simple pasta dish, right? Make it well-balanced and flavorful with this Creamy Garlic Pasta with Charred Broccoli! I use a whole-grain pasta and cashew-based sauce to make it plant-based and healthy, and frozen broccoli from Bird’s Eye to keep it simple and still nutritious.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CASHEW CREAM SAUCE:
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Plus 1/3 Cup, Divided
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 cup Roughly Chopped Cashews, Soaked In Boiling Water For 30 Minutes
  • 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 whole Small Lemon, Juiced
  • 1 pinch Salt And Pepper
  • FOR THE PASTA:
  • 1 bag (about 10 Oz. Size) Bird's Eye Steamfresh Premium Broccoli Florets
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil, Plus More For Drizzling
  • 8 ounces, weight Dried Penne Pasta (I Recommend 100% Durum Wheat Or 100% Whole-wheat Pasta)
  • ¼ cups Fresh Chopped Chives, For Garnish
  • 1 pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Preparation

For the cashew garlic sauce, in a small nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. After 1–2 minutes, toss a slice of garlic into the oil. If it sizzles, toss in the rest of the sliced garlic. If not, wait until oil heats to the point of sizzling when garlic is added. Turn heat to low and cook garlic for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until crisp around the edges and golden and soft in the center. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Drain and rinse the cashews and transfer them to a blender with remaining ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Add the cooled garlic and the oil it was cooked in and blend on high until the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the broccoli according to package instructions, then drain excess water on a plate lined with a paper towel. Very gently squeeze out the moisture.

In a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil over medium-high heat. When oil sizzles, add broccoli and stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook for 4–5 minutes over high heat to char the broccoli. Add more oil if needed, and season with salt and pepper. When the broccoli is charred all around, turn heat off and remove skillet from heat.

While broccoli cooks, prepare the pasta. Heat a large pot of salted water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large serving bowl, and drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and stir to coat the pasta.

Add about ½ cup of the cashew sauce to the pasta and stir until combined. Top with extra salt and pepper, fresh chives, and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve alongside charred broccoli.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Extra sauce will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

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