this post was created in partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond. all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own. thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal going!
where would we all be without pasta? do i dare say it's maybe the most versatile food...? it always has been for me. pasta was probably the first thing i started cooking on my own as a kid for dinner. i remember heating tomato sauce on the stove, cooking up a single-serve portion of it, and adding fresh, creamy ricotta cheese to the mix - that was my go-to, always!
as the years have gone by, that has changed a bit. when i first gave up gluten and dairy i didn't touch it. i couldn't imagine a rice or quinoa-based noodle being al dente or chewy enough that it could live up to traditionally wheat-based pasta that was engrained in my (partially) italian tastebuds. turns out they could!
around here pasta dishes are a weekly affair. sometimes they're tossed with homemade pesto and caramelized balsamic onions. other times it's thrown together with sautéed veg and a tomato-based sauce. or when i plan ahead enough i make the chickpea and cashew alfredo sauce from my book with greens or whatever else i have on hand. but when i'm in a pinch and don't have time to soak nuts, i make a quick cannellini bean sauce that takes all of 5 minutes to whip up. with just a few pantry staples added it turns into a super flavorful sauce that - bonus! - is packed with protein! i personally love something a bit sweet to counter all the savory flavors in a dish like this. so whether it's sweet, summery tomatoes, sautéed balsamic onions, or the sliced figs here, something toothsome is always something i gravitate towards. and the charred broccoli is another staple, especially because it's so fresh this time of year. i prefer using a cast iron skillet, and this one from bed bath & beyond's new artisanal kitchen supply line is twice-seasoned making it so much easier to use right out the gate! this was the best experience i've had with a new cast iron pan without having to season it multiple times (which, when i'm making something like socca, makes all the difference!).
thank you to bed bath & beyond for supplying me with all the pieces you see here from their new artisanal kitchen supply cookware and serveware line, that includes the olive wood tools used for serving. i really love the earthy tones, and simplicity of these products, they're reasonable, simple, and beautiful.
creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs | gf & v
| serves 4 |
garlic bean sauce
1 15-ounce can cannelleni beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup filtered water
1 large or 2 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
fresh pepper, to taste
1 12-ounce package brown rice pasta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
fine sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts, plus more for serving
6 ripe figs, thinly sliced
make the sauce. combine all the ingredients in an upright blender (preferably a high-speed blender such as a vitamix), until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. taste and adjust the salt, lemon juice, and/or the vinegar if need be, then transfer to a small saucepan and set aside.
make the pasta. cook the pasta according the directions on the package until al dente. drain the pasta and set aside.
while the pasta is cooking, steam and char the broccoli. place broccoli florets in a steamer over 1-inch over water and bring to a boil. steam for 2 minutes until tender but crisp. heat a heavy bottomed saute pan (preferably cast iron) over medium, once the pan is hot add the oil and broccoli. cook the broccoli on each side until charred in spots and tender, about 5-6 minutes per side. remove from heat.
heat the sauce over medium heat until steaming, add more filtered water by the tablespoon until it is fluid but coats the back of a spoon. add the sauce, pasta, and walnuts to broccoli and give it all a good toss. gently fold in the figs, taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt if needed.
divide the pasta into portions and serve immediately with extra toasted walnuts.