I was thinking of making my comfort food and oh-so-satisfying Winter Alfredo for dinner the other night but I didn’t have cauliflower. I did have broccoli but I was thinking of roasting the broccoli in the oven as a side dish. Then inspiration kicked in and I created this quick and easy recipe that and goes from prep to table in about 30 minutes.
It features roasted broccoli florets, thin slices of fresh red bell pepper, mostaccioli pasta and a creamy Alfredo sauce. If you don’t happen to have mostaccioli sitting around, substitute penne pasta.
What could be better on a cold winter’s night? Serve with a fresh garden salad and fresh French bread (for dipping in the Alfredo sauce). It’s what’s for dinner!
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 large bunch)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups half and half
1½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
12 ounces mostaccioli or penne pasta (cooked according to pkg directions)
1 red bell pepper (sliced into matchsticks for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prep a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Put broccoli florets in a large baggie, add olive oil and garlic and shake to evenly coat florets.
Transfer the broccoli to the baking dish and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer broccoli to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Wipe out the pan and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and stir with wire whisk until smooth. Add half and half whisking again until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese and add pepper to taste. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Remove Alfredo sauce from heat and set aside.
Add the cooked pasta and the Alfredo sauce to the bowl with the broccoli. Stir gently. Transfer this mixture to the same pan the broccoli was roasted in. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese and broil in the oven for about 3 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
To serve, spoon the pasta onto dinner plates and garnish with bell pepper.