Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Penne Pasta with Spicy Sauce w/ Cream Cheese Brownies

  • 1 package (16 oz.) penne pasta
  • 1 can (28 oz.) fire roasted whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup freshly grated cheese
  • 2 pounds fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Brownie Ingredients
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar, if desired

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile in food processor or blender, place tomatoes with juice. Cover and process until coarsley chopped. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, red pepper and parsley in oil about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until garlic starts to turn a golden color. Stir in chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and ¼ cup of the cheese to tomato mixture. Cook another 3 minutes, tossing gently until pasta is coated with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Steam broccoli until tender but firm, about 5-7 minutes. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the steamed broccoli, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat and heat through. Serve warm.

Cut French bread into 1 inch slices. Butter one side and sprinkle with about 2 Tablespoons of shredded cheese. Place prepared slices on a large baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve warm.

Brownie Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8x8 inch pan with a nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine flour, ¾ cup sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in melted butter, water and egg until dry ingredients are moistened. Spread in prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese 2 Tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over patter. Swirl with a knife. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean, when tested in brownie and not cream cheese. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. If desired sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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