Dallas’ Parigi restaurant, 3311 Oak Lawn, owes its forthright demeanor to chef and co-owner Andree Falls’s hands-on attitude toward cooking. Instead of learning her trade in an academic setting, Falls practiced in restaurant kitchens while traveling around the world. Many of Parigi’s offerings reflect the casual gusto of bistros in the South of France, where the cuisine draws heavily on Mediterranean flavors. Falls, a former marathoner, believes that her customers should eat good food that is good for them. This pasta entrée is a heady take on a simple and wholesome idea: the one-dish meal. The roasted garlic makes a fine appetizer with French bread.

Roasted Garlic

1 head jumbo garlic (do not use elephant garlic, which is too bitter)
Olive oil, as needed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly baste head of garlic with a little olive oil. Wrap garlic in foil, and poke a few small holes in foil. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until garlic meat is soft.

(Roasted garlic can be added to other dishes or served alone as a spread with French bread. After roasting, the garlic will keep for several days if refrigerated.

To serve, slice the garlic in half horizontally, drizzle olive oil over it, and warm in oven until golden. Gently squeeze each half to remove meat.)

Penne Pasta with Roasted Garlic

20 cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved
1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 head roasted jumbo garlic
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
20 fresh thin asparagus spears
1 pound fresh penne pasta
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place cherry tomatoes on sheet pan, and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Bake about 20 minutes, until tomatoes are a bit shriveled and slightly brown at the edges. Remove from oven, and reserve. Slice head of roasted garlic in half horizontally. Squeeze each half to extract meat, and reserve.

Place wine, butter, and asparagus in sauté pan or skillet over high heat. After wine-asparagus mixture comes to a boil, add tomatoes and garlic meat. When all but 1/4 cup of liquid has evaporated, reduce heat to medium and add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill deep saucepan with water. Add pinch of salt and pepper, and bring to boil.

Drop pasta into boiling water, and cook until it is al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain pasta, and add to asparagus-tomato mixture. Add basil and remaining olive oil. Toss pasta and sauce, then spoon into 4 bowls and crumble goat cheese on top. Serves 4.