Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meatless Meal For Lent “Penne with Broccoli & Mozzarella”

This year, Winter feels like it is Spring here on Long Island. To me personally, it feels like a yo-yo. Some days the temperature is in the 50s or higher and then a few days later it is freezing again. There has been only a few days of my waking up with a dusting of snow on the ground, as compared to last year, which was extremely cold and mounds of snow were piled up for days. I guess it is true what they say that when you get older the days, weeks, and months go by so fast. Here we are almost approaching the beginning of March. The weather is unsure of what time of the year it is, but my calendar is showing me that we have approached the beginning of the Lenten season.

The Lenten season officially started on February 22, Ash Wednesday and continues till Easter Sunday, April 8th. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the faithful, as they await the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. This is done by prayer, penance, and giving up certain types of luxuries for this season. A favorite food or drink for example; chocolate or soft drinks may be what someone would give up for Lent. I remember when I was a young girl my parents always made sure that we would give up something that was important and special to us. I remember the one thing that I would give up every year which was chocolate. As you, my readers know, I love chocolate and this was extremely hard for me. Then on Easter Sunday we would get a basket filled with goodies and I was able to enjoy my chocolate fix once again.

As good Catholics we do not eat meat on Holy Days of obligation which would include Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, plus on every Friday during the season of Lent. Observing these days were established by the Church to give Catholics another way to draw nourishment from a different source. As acts of penance, fasting and abstinence this helps us acknowledge the sins in our lives, which we can then take the attention away from ourselves. This tradition is based on the idea of denying oneself to focus on something greater.

So with this being said, I would love to share a recipe that I think would be a delicious meatless meal to serve on those Fridays during Lent called “Penne with Broccoli and Mozzarella”. So quick but very tasty and aromatic. This yummy recipe comes from"Great Chicago Italian Recipes". You can serve this dish with plenty of freshly grated Pecorino Romano on top and don’t forget a slice of garlic bread with a crisp green salad. My wine recommendation would be a light white wine called Pinot Grigio, Red Chianti or a Sangiovese. 
Buon Appetito !!!

Penne with Broccoli and Mozzarella

2 bunches of broccoli in cubes or florets
1 pound of penne pasta (I usually use Barilla)
1 onion sliced
2 cloves of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 lb of fresh mozzarella cubed or sliced
Salt & fresh black pepper to taste
1/2 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Cook broccoli until almost tender. Cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, use a large pan to sauté the sliced onions and garlic in olive oil with butter for about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook until they are slightly browned. Toss the cooked broccoli into the pan. Drain the pasta and toss into the broccoli mixture. Stir in the mozzarella until slightly melted. Season with salt and pepper. Plate your dish and serve topped with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Serves: 4-6 people

Till Next Time………..

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  1. This is awesome for the Lent season. Yummy! =)

  2. Thanks Raquel for reading. Yes, this is a yummy recipe. I have made this before and everyone enjoys it.

  3. I know what you mean about the weather. We are experiencing spring like weather here in Texas. Great recipe.

  4. Thanks Christine, Hope that you enjoy the recipe, it is a good one. Yes, and the weather is very strange this year, even in Texas. I think all across the states. Have a good one...