Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cavatelli with Broccoli and Caramelized Onions

Cavatelli is probably my all time favorite pasta.  It has a chewiness and is so hearty and just yummy.  It is hard to find depending on where you live.  Here on east coast, you can usually find it in the freezer section with other frozen pastas.  A few weeks ago, when my parents were visiting, we made it with steamed broccoli and it was delicious.  We talked about how some caramelized onions would be great in it.  I upped the ante by adding a bulb/head of roasted garlic and a handful of mozzarella cheese at the end.  This was a great dish and a big hit with the kids.

It takes a few minutes of prep about an hour before, but is about 1/2 hour from pot to plate otherwise.

Some possible additions would be shredded chicken, Italian sausage, red pepper flakes, a drizzle of balsamic glaze at the end or fresh diced tomatoes.  Delicious dish!

serves about 6


  • 2 bags of frozen cavatelli
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • good white wine
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • lot of pecorino romano
  • EVOO


Put on pan of water for pasta and salt water with 1-2 tsp salt.  Preheat oven to 375.  Thinly cut top of garlic head.  Leave as whole head and peel off most outside papery casing.  Get a small piece of foil (7-8") and put garlic head on.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (evoo) and salt and pepper.  Wrap up tightly into ball and put in oven for 45 minutes or until browned and tender.
Meanwhile, thinly slice onion and put in pan with evoo and small pat of butter,  salt and pepper and cook over med heat for about 1/2 hour, stirring every few minutes so not to burn.  Deglaze with white wine if needed.

 They should be a rich brown and look like this.

While onions are getting all sweet and delish, place broccoli in steamer basket (salt water streaming with) and steam until fork tender, about 15 minutes. 
Check garlic and remove cloves from casing by squeezing the bottom or using a small knife.  Coarsely chop garlic.  
Cook cavatelli until it is floating...  taste and make sure done. 
In a large serving bowl or pot mix pasta, caramelized onions,  roasted garlic, broccoli.  Drizzle with about 1/8 c. olive oil to start.  Toss in the mozzarella cheese and mix.  Cheese will get stringy.  Taste for seasoning (mine needed a fair amount of salt) and add more oil if needed.  Serve up with lots of pecorino romano (parm) cheese.

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