The other night Andy wanted steak so we needed a side dish for him that would double as a main for me. We were running some errands so I did a mental inventory of what we had in the cupboard and fridge. I remembered we had a couple of eggs, a lemon, some parmigiano reggiano, cavatappi pasta and garlic–the basics for some sort of pasta dish loosely based on a carbonara-type sauce. Andy also wanted tonic, so we stopped by the super market and I grabbed some sweet corn, broccoli and grape tomatoes to add to the pasta. Here’s how I made it:
Lemony cavatappi with summer veggies and roasted garlic
4 cups small broccoli florets
Corn kernels from 2 raw ears of of sweet corn (about 2 cups)
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 head of garlic
1/2 pound cavatappi pasta
2 eggs (I used pasteurized eggs)
3/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450. In a medium bowl toss broccoli with 2 tsp. olive oil and season with salt. Dump broccoli in a pile in one corner of a sheet pan. In the same bowl, toss the sweet corn with 1 tsp. of olive oil and salt to taste. Dump the corn in a pile on another corner of the pan. In the same bowl toss the tomatoes with the remaining tsp. of olive oil and season with salt. Spread the tomatoes out in another area of the sheet pan. (The corn and broccoli should be in little piles to protect them from over-roasting, but the tomatoes should be spread out so that they do not steam themselves and so that each one can caramelize.) Finally, trim the top of a whole head of garlic and throw it somewhere on the sheet pan (do not peel the garlic). Place the whole pan in the oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to caramelize and the broccoli develops some crispy bits, but before the corn chars.
Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil and cook the cavatappi per the package directions (about 11 minutes).
When the veggies are done roasting (hopefully a couple minutes before the pasta), squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl of a food processor along with the eggs, cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse to combine.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and return it to its cooking pot. Off the heat, add the roasted broccoli, corn and tomatoes. Pour in the egg-cheese mixture and quickly add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to quickly coat all the veggies and pasta. (If you don’t move fast you’ll have scrambled eggs.) Continue adding more water in 1/4 cup increments until you have a nice creamy sauce (I used about 1 cup). Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.