Can a Pasta and Broccoli Meal Satisfy Me?

After a busy few weeks and a hiatus from cooking, I’m back for another meatless meal challenge. The cookbook I’m using as a guide is divided into seasonal sections. I chose a recipe from the Autumn section, Penne with Broccoli, Marscapone, and Dolcelatte.

I’m learning about ingredients on this journey. This recipe taught me about marscapone, crème fraîche, and Gorgonzola dolcelatte. Marscapone is an Italian cream cheese with a creamier, sweeter texture than cream cheese we generally use. Crème fraîche is a French styled sour cream than is less sour than typical American versions. Gorgonzola dolcelatte is a slightly mild, sweeter variety of Gorgonzola cheese that was developed for the British market. I was able to find marscapone and crème fraîche at the store but not the Gorgonzola dolcelatte. Regular Gorgonzola had to do.

As I shopped at my local grocery store, it did feel odd to bypass the meat area. It’s such a habit going and selecting meats that I had to remind myself penne pasta and broccoli are going to make this meal hearty. My fingers were crossed.

The photo on the left is my creation, the one on the right is from the cookbook. The differences I observe are that they used regular, lighter colored penne, I used whole wheat. Their dish looks creamier, mine less so. Their dish has bigger pieces of hazelnuts, I chopped mine into finer pieces. The good news is Kip and I both though it was very good. The dish was hearty, filling, satisfying, nutty, cheesy, and salty (the capers). If I were to make it again, I would add more broccoli and use less penne to even out the ratio of vegetables to pasta.

Because I used such small amounts of some of the ingredients, my next challenge is to find other recipes that use crème fraîche, marscapone, and capers because those items aren’t inexpensive and I don’t want them to go to waste.

Or maybe I should make another batch of this recipe with the changes I mentioned. Hmmmmmm…stay tuned!

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