With the stealth addition of legume-based noodles you can fret less about pasta night when it comes to blood sugar control. Even more so when you beef up the dish with tender-roasted broccoli. A drizzle of nutty-tasting brown butter makes the whole dish seem extra special. From penne to shells, nearly any shaped pasta works here.
For traditional wheat-based pasta varieties, drain well after cooking but do not rinse with water. The rules change with legume-based noodles, including chickpea, which require a post-drain rinse to remove excess starch and reduce clumping.
1 lb (450 g) broccoli crowns
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) walnut halves
8 oz (225 g) chickpea pasta
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Place rimmed baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C), leaving pan in oven as it heats.
Cut broccoli into florets. Peel and thinly slice broccoli stems. In bowl, toss together broccoli florets and stems with oil, lemon zest, and salt. On hot baking sheet, arrange broccoli in single layer and return to oven; bake until browned and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 F (190 C). On baking sheet, place walnuts and roast until a couple of shades darker, stirring once, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, fill large saucepan with 8 cups (2 L) water; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in colander, rinse with cold water, and drain well.
In heavy-bottomed and preferably light-coloured saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted. Raise heat to medium and cook butter, stirring and scraping the bottom often with a rubber spatula, until it foams, the colour turns golden-brown, and it smells nutty. Do not let butter turn dark brown, which means it has burnt. Take pan off heat, stir in chili flakes, and immediately transfer butter and any browned milk solids to heatproof bowl to cool.
Divide pasta and broccoli among serving plates, sprinkle on walnuts, and drizzle on browned butter. Squeeze on lemon juice and then season with pepper and cheese.
Each serving contains: 449 calories; 20 g protein; 27 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 41 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 9 g fibre); 481 mg sodium