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- kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-2 Fresno, jalapeño or other chile peppers, sliced into thin coins
- 1 pound rigatoni or other similar-shaped pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium head broccoli, florets cut into 1½- to 2-inch pieces, stalk cut into thin coins, ends trimmed (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and cut into thin slices
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 cup ricotta, drained and lightly salted
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup packed leaves parsley and tender stems, roughly chopped
I love the combination of broccoli, mushrooms and garlic with the bright lemony flavor and kick of heat. Baking the pasta gives the pieces along the rim an extra crunchy texture that's deeply satisfying.
Technique tip: The pickles will last one week in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Swap option: Use with store-bought pickled jalapenos, if you want to skip the pickling step below, or top with red pepper flakes.
In a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, red wine vinegar and peppers, and cover with hot water (from the tap is fine) and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves. Let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally if you remember, until the pasta is ready.2.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until shy of al dente, 3-4 minutes less than the package instructions; it should still be a little too tough to bite through. Drain in a colander in the sink, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to prevent the noodles from sticking. Leave in the sink.3.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the stems, season with salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring halfway, then add the florets and mushrooms, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli becomes a vibrant green and the mushrooms have shrunken down and released their liquid, about 6-8 minutes. Season with the red pepper flakes and garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.4.
When the pasta and vegetables are done, in a small mixing bowl, add 1 cup pasta water and 3/4 cup Parmesan to the whisked eggs, quickly stirring together. Off the heat, add the pasta to the broccoli mixture, then pour in the egg mixture. Stir vigorously for at least 1 minute to combine and coat all pasta pieces. It will still be a little saucy and that's OK. Top with dollops of ricotta, layer with the breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, then bake until the pasta at the edges of the pan start to look crispy, 12-15 minutes.5.
Drain the peppers, if using, and place on top of the pasta, squeeze the juice of 2 lemon wedges on top, sprinkle with lemon zest, parsley, a drizzle of oil and pepper. Serve with the remaining lemon.