Review of Martha & Marley Spoon's Creamy Sheet Pan Pasta with Broccoli & Tomato

Dave Beaulieu April 17th, 2018

Review Summary

This recipe delivers exactly what I’d expect from a recipe with Martha Stewart’s name on it. It’s a fairly simple, “homespun” recipe, with a couple added twists that up the “interest” level for the home cook.

The dish itself, is close to a “pasta primavera” made with penne, fresh tomatoes and broccoli. A bit of marscapone cheese is added to create a simple sauce. The “sheet pan” technique lifts a page from a style of mac ‘n cheese, where bread crumbs are roasted on top of the pasta. That creates a flavorful crust which gives the al dente pasta & veggies a nice counterpoint.

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I was most impressed with the directions and write up on the recipe card. The step by step directions were very clear, and included a few tips that most recipes leave off, but are critical to making a great dish.

While you’ve got a lot of calories between the pasta and the cheese sauce, there is also a good amount of fresh broccoli and tomatoes, bringing a more healthy feel to the recipe.

Finally, there aren’t really any overly complex steps to follow. The whole recipe can be done in about the time it describes on the card...40 minutes. And I found there was more than enough food for 2 people.

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Ingredients

I thought all the ingredients that came looked good and fresh with the exception of the fresh basil. The leaves on the basil had started to wilt a bit. But honestly, basil is really hard to keep looking fresh...and it still worked just fine in the recipe. The other ingredients, include the broccoli and tomatoes, were fresh and tasted good.

Martha & Marley Spoon provided 8 ingredients for this dish:

  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Penne pasta
  • Mascarpone cheese

The only things I needed were salt, pepper and olive oil.

My box, came with two recipes, both of which required garlic. Martha & Marley Spoon provided a full head of garlic, far more than I needed for both recipes, but that’s fine. Now, i’ve got some extra garlic.  They also sent a pint of tomatoes, but the recipe only required half of that. Again, now I’ve got some extra tomatoes. 

Breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, mascarpone all came individually wrapped in quantities that worked well for this recipe.

Making the dish

I give really high marks for the recipe card/instructions that come with this pasta recipe. The card breaks the cooking down into 6 steps:

  • Prep ingredients
  • Prep Panko topping
  • Cook the pasta & broccoli
  • Make creamy garlic sauce
  • Broil pasta
  • Serve

Preparing the ingredients was easy and didn’t take more than 8 - 10 minutes, for both cutting up the vegetables and getting the panko crust ready for cooking.

I loved the direction they give on cooking the pasta and then the broccoli together. After letting the penne cook to just barely al dente, you’re to add the broccoli to the same water, quickly cooking them together for the last couple minutes.

It’s a nice time saving, and cleaning saver, as you don’t need to clean another pot. The timing as you getting the pasta al dente, and the broccoli just tender - still retaining a bit of crunch. Overcooked broccoli is not great.

It’s tips like that, as well as retaining some of the pasta water to help make the sauce, are tips that I love Martha & Marley Spoon included. These types of tips are easy to understand, but so often overlooked by the home chef. And they will make your food taste better.

Making the sauce, again in the same pot is easy, and the directions for topping the penne with the breadcrumbs and broiling clear.

If I had one more addition/modification it would be make sure the pasta is a bit “too saucy” adding it to the sheet pan. In the oven the penne with continue to dry, as it absorbs more sauce, so going in a bit “wet” will get to the right consistency when cooked.

Taste

At the end of the day, this is pasta in a cream sauce, with the crunchy topping - how can you go wrong with that?

It is a very rich dish, that is make lighter with the broccoli and tomatoes. For me, there was more than enough broccoli. The recipe called for half the tomatoes, but if I didn’t again I would use 3/4s or maybe all of them. Their acidity lightens up everything and is a great counter to the creamy pasta.

It’s a simply, yummy recipe. Finishing it on the sheet pan is kinda cool. The crust is pretty tasty. And I’d be happy to cook and eat it anytime

Martha & Marley Spoon's Creamy Sheet Pan Pasta with Broccoli & Tomato

Martha & Marley Spoon's Creamy Sheet Pan Pasta with Broccoli & Tomato

Overall

Like the other Martha & Marley Spoon recipe I tried, this is good, simple, homestyle cooking - with an interesting twist. You’re not going to blow any foodie away with this recipe. But you will have a really good tasting meal, that with both familiar and unique.

The vegetables were fresh and tasted good. The sauce for the pasta was creamy, yummy and easy to make. 

They did a really good job with the directions on the recipe card, and I’m feel comfortable that even novice cooks shouldn’t have much of a problem making this recipe.

Thumbs up on this one. Let me know what you think. And if you're interested in trying Martha & Marley Spoon, make sure to use the discount code below.

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