Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Broccoli pasta kicks this simple veggie up a notch

Ask yourself two questions:

1. Do I want a bowl of broccoli?

2. Do I want a bowl of delicious pasta with garlicky, aromatic broccoli on top?

Well? Which would you choose?

I know which way I'd go, and it's a simple, quick way to fashion a light veggie-based dinner or an excellent pasta course.

It didn't take long, either.  Here's how:
  1. Whack a good-size broccoli "tree" into florets, and cut the stem, after discarding the woody base, into small dice. 
  2. Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a small pot, simmering the broccoli stem dice from the start. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the florets, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender.  Drain and reserve.
  3. Start spaghetti cooking in a large pot with ample, salted water.
  4. Slice two or three big cloves of garlic thin, and saute the slices in good olive oil with a little dried-red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt.  Add the blanched broccoli, stir, and leave over very low heat while the flavors blend.
  5. Drain the finished pasta and put it in warm bowls. Top with the broccoli and finish with a little grated Grana Padano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Serve and enjoy.