Thursday, June 12, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Brown Butter and Gruyere

I wish I could take credit for this recipe. I love to create new dishes and experiment in the kitchen, but putting the ingredients from this recipe together in one dish is something I never would have thought of on my own.

But even though I can't take credit for this recipe, I bumped it ahead of a few original recipes I have waiting to post because it is THAT good and needs to be shared.

The other night I asked Jon to throw a bulb of garlic on the grill while he was making steaks. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but knew I wanted to use it the next night. I also had half of a block of Gruyere cheese left over that I wanted to use - roasted garlic and Gruyere are so perfect together. So I googled "roasted garlic and Gruyere recipes." At first I was finding a lot of ads for roasted garlic Gruyere cheese. Um, yum! I think I need to find some!!! After looking for a bit I came across a recipe for Roasted Garlic and Lemon Rigatoni with Brown Butter and Gruyere on the Blog Baker by Nature. I read the recipe and knew it would be fabulous.

I can't say enough good things about this pasta dish. Every bite gives you so many flavors that all work perfectly together - sweet roasted garlic, light and bright lemon, nutty brown butter and creamy and nutty Gruyere. Our sides really complemented the dish too - roasted Brussels sprouts and some roasted cherry tomatoes. I may have eaten 2 servings and then had the small amount of leftovers for lunch the next day and I already want to eat it again.

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Brown Butter and Gruyere
Source: Baker by Nature

  • 1 head of garlic, bottom cut off
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente (you want them not raw, but not quite there yet; they will finish cooking in the butter/lemon sauce)  *reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water
  • 5 tablespoons butter, browned (THIS is a great tutorial on making perfect brown butter)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon (original recipe calls for 2 but 1 was plenty)
  • 1 cup fresh grated Gruyere cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper
My notes and changes are in italics
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Carefully slice the bottom off of head of garlic. Place in a small oven proof baking dish (or wrap in foil), drizzle with olive oil, and place in the oven to bake for 55 minutes. Remove garlic from baking dish to cool while you make your pasta. Or you can make this ahead of time. My husband roasted the garlic on the grill the night before I made this dish, and then I stored it in the fridge.
  • Fill a large pot with water and salt, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta for 5-6 minutes, or until just slightly under al dente. Drain and quickly run pasta under cold water to stop the cooking. Return pasta to pot. ** Make sure you reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water
  • Squeeze cooled garlic cloves out from the head and place them in a food processor or blender; set aside.
  • In a small pan cook butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it’s just browned and smells slightly nutty (see this link if you have never made brown butter before). Pour butter into the food processor, then add the reserved pasta water, parsley, lemon zest, and juice of one lemon; pulse until smooth.
  • Add mixture to pasta (as well as some red pepper flakes), stir, and heat on medium-low for 3-4 minutes, just until the pasta has warmed and is al dente. Remove from heat and stir in Gruyere. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Right before serving drizzle olive oil over pasta and toss lightly. Serve warm with grated cheese.

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