Make us your home page
Instagram

For maximum crunch (and convenience), pull out your sheet pan

Cooking an entire meal on one rimmed baking pan — the so-called sheet pan supper — has become its own category of cooking, the oven analogue of the one-pot meal.

I was an early adopter of the sheet pan supper. You can't beat the ease, especially when what you end up with is not only simpler than most other dinners, but also better — at least if you like your food to have some crunch.

That's the benefit of a sheet pan. Spreading out all your ingredients in one layer and exposing them to the oven's high heat allows them to truly crisp and brown, more so than with any other cooking method short of frying. And if whatever you're making isn't quite brown enough, a quick stint under the broiler will take you there.

In this recipe, I give spicy broccoli pasta the sheet pan treatment. It's a particularly convenient dish to make. You roast some broccoli on a sheet pan, then toss everything else on top before returning it to the broiler.

You do have to boil the pasta in a pot before adding it to the sheet pan, so this recipe doesn't technically qualify as a one-pan meal. But it comes pretty close, and that extra pot is well worth the washing for such a satisfying meatless main course.

The combination of ingredients — broccoli, pasta, fresh ricotta and Parmesan — could also be piled into a casserole dish and baked. You'll end up with something more discretely golden on top, and soft in the middle.

But here I was going for maximum browning. I wanted the broccoli florets to be audibly crisp. I wanted the pasta to nearly burn at its edges. I even wanted the usually silky ricotta cheese to burnish and caramelize. And just for good measure, I added a thin coating of Parmesan-spiked bread crumbs to fill in the nooks and crannies.

All of those assertive textures call for bold flavors, so I added whole cumin seed and chili flakes to the broccoli, and then some grated lemon zest to the bread crumb topping. A squeeze of lemon juice at the end adds just enough brightness to bring everything together.

After making this dish once, you can use it as a template for future sheet pan suppers with pasta, swapping in vegetables like Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant and cauliflower for the broccoli, and other soft cheeses — perhaps goat cheese or Camembert — for the ricotta.

Just keep the high heat and the bread crumbs. You want to get that crunch.

>>EASY

Spicy Roasted Broccoli Pasta

2 ½ pounds broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

12 ounces tube-shaped pasta

cup grated Parmesan cheese

cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces best-quality whole milk ricotta

Fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together broccoli, oil, cumin (if using), ¾ teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Roast until tender and browned at the edges, 18 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and set oven to broil.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain.

In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan, panko, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the black pepper.

Toss cooked pasta with broccoli on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dollop with ricotta. Sprinkle with Parmesan mix, drizzle generously with oil, and broil until topping is crisped and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste, and serve.

Serves 4.

Source: New York Times

For maximum crunch (and convenience), pull out your sheet pan 03/22/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 1:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Directors of Haunted Mansion doc talk bringing piece of Disney history to Orlando

    Blogs

    Filmmakers Ryan Grulich and James H. Carter II aren't just casual fans of The Haunted Mansion ride. They're obsessed.

    Publicity still from the Foolish Mortals documentary.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 20

    Events

    Mumford and Sons: The enormously popular English rockers make their first stop in Tampa. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $41.25-$61.25. (813) 301-2500.

    MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 13:  Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons performs on the "What" stage during the 2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 13, 2015 in Manchester, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
  3. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

  4. The Mill restaurants offering half off when customers donate items for hurricane relief

    Blogs

    The Mill restaurant in St. Petersburg and its newly-opened location in Brandon are collecting donations to help residents of the Florida Keys who've been affected by Hurricane Irma.

    The dining room at The Mill in St. Petersburg photographed in 2015.
  5. Key performances and a sizzling script elevate Heather Theatre's 'Disgraced'

    Stage

    TAMPA — When you step into the world of Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar's taut drama centered on two couples at a Manhattan dinner party, you never feel secure about where you sit. No one really can.

    Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, centers around two New York power couples clashing over politics and identity.