We’re big fans of keeping at least one day a week meatless in the mom a la mode household. And our go-to dish is often Pasta with Broccoli.
What makes this dish a winner? The vitamin-packed, simple ingredients. The one pot, start-to-finish cooking process. It’s versatility. The list goes on…
I often liken Pasta with Broccoli to the “little black dress” because it can literally be dressed up, dressed down and accessorized in endless ways.
Dress it up:
Easy enough for a weekday supper, but also as a prima piatta at a dinner party. Give it a dose of chic by serving with elegantly shaped pasta and tossing with finishing oil. Beautifully shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese also adds a touch of fancy, as well as some grilled shrimp or scallops.
Dress it down:
What’s great about Pasta with Broccoli is that it can be served lukewarm – or even cold! – and still taste amazing, thanks to the sustainable flavors of garlic and good olive oil. It’s perfect to bring to a picnic, tailgate or pack in a lunch bag for school or work.
Fun additions include small white beans, diced tomatoes, toasted pignoli nuts, fresh mushrooms, or even a splash of white wine. I typically use whatever I have on hand if I feel like jazzing things up a bit.
And perhaps the best part (aside from only having to clean one pot) is that it’s a family-friendly meal – even for kiddies who do not like vegetables. For those picky eaters, follow the recipe below, but after you cook the pasta in the nutrient-rich “green water,” reserve a serving or two of the pasta on the side and serve with a little pat of butter and some grated cheese, or even your favorite marinara sauce.
– mom a la mode
Mom a la mode’s One-Pot Wonderful Pasta with Broccoli©
2-3 fresh broccoli crowns or 1 full head broccoli, cut into florets (use stem, too – just peel and cut into 1 inch pieces)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 TBSP good olive oil, with more on reserve
2/3-cup organic chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup or 2 ladlefuls of reserved pasta water, set aside while pasta is cooking
2 TBSP Salted Butter
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lb. pasta (spaghetti, rotelle or bow ties are popular with this dish)
Coarsely ground pepper and salt
– Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
– Add cut up broccoli and blanch until florets turn Emerald Green (the water will be green, too). Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and place cooked broccoli in a bowl on the side.
– Reserve your pasta water in a cup.
– Cook pasta in “green water” according to directions, less 1-minute for al dente.
– Drain pasta and let it sit in colander while you finish your recipe.
– Add 2 TBSPs olive oil into same pot and the chopped garlic. Sauté over medium heat, careful not to burn the garlic.
-Add the broccoli (be careful – if there’s still some water it will splatter a bit) and sauté for a few minutes.
-Add the pasta back to the pot, and carefully stir. Add the broth, and gradually add the pasta water in, eyeballing to your taste (if you prefer this more liquidly, add more – if you prefer it just glistening, hold back)
-Carefully stir mixture together and add remaining olive oil, butter, cheese and black pepper/salt.
– Can be served hot, lukewarm or cold.