Make us your home page

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.


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

  1. Watch Round 3 of Feeding Tampa Bay's Epic Chef Showdown


    TAMPA — Round 3 of the third annual Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay is Monday night, and you can watch it live right here.

    Chef Richard Bergendale of The Mill restaurant and Sous Chef Jeff Thornsberry of Locale Market competed in Round 1 of the Epic Chef Showdown. [Epicurean Hotel / Feeding Tampa Bay]
  2. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride


    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  3. Restaurant review: Food and beer pair nicely at the Eatery at Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - Tampa Bay's craft beer scene is perennially in flux. New breweries open, others close or get scooped up by bigger breweries, some reinvent themselves so they can sell beer off site, and still others build on kitchens and add food to give enthusiasts another reason to sit tight.

    A Passion of the Heights hibiscus wheat ale is displayed at The Brew Bus in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017.  The Brew Bus Terminal, which houses a microbrewery and tasting room and serves as a hub for bus tours to local breweries, has opened an on-site kitchen called the Eatery. With the opening of the new casual dining concept, the brewery joins the ranks of microbreweries across the country that have asked that question: "What goes with beer? Hey, how about food?"
  4. Daniel Lipton resigns as artistic director of Opera Tampa


    TAMPA — Daniel Lipton has resigned as artistic director of Opera Tampa, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts announced.

    Daniel Lipton took over the post when 17-year director Anton Coppola retired in 2012 at age 95.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 25


    Shawn Mendes: The multi platinum-selling singer/songwriter embarks on his first-ever headlining arena word tour in support of his sophomore album Illuminate. Charlie Puth opens. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $43.75-$63.75. (813) 301-2500.

    Shawn Mendes, performing at Amalie Arena on 7/25/17. Credit: James Minchin.