"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recipes–Pasta With Broccoli

Pasta with broccoli is a traditional Southern Italian dish, especially from the region of Puglia.  It is super-simple to prepare and the combination of lightly browned garlic, fresh broccoli, good olive oil, grated fresh parmesan, and a little hot pepper flakes is absolutely perfect. 

Pasta with Broccoli

* 1 lb. fresh broccoli, stems cut into small rounds, florets kept separate (You can decide on the proportions you like.  I prefer a lot of broccoli, enough to cover the pasta; but others like a balance such as that shown in the photo above.  Entirely up to you)

* 5 Tbsp. olive oil

* 5-8 lg. garlic cloves coarsely chopped

* 3-4 shakes hot red pepper

* 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan

* salt, ground fresh pepper

* 1/2 lb. spaghetti or rigatoni

- Prepare the raw broccoli by cutting off the stems all the way to the florets, then cutting them into thin rounds.

- Sauté the garlic in the olive oil and red pepper flakes.  The garlic should turn gold/light brown.  If you overdo it and the garlic blackens, you will have to throw it out.  This is the only tricky part of the recipe.  Browned garlic gives a special, caramelized taste completely different from regular cooked garlic; and is the key to the fragrance of this dish.  Just watch carefully, and when you see the first sign of browning, take the garlic off the burner.  There is always enough heat in the pan to cook it more.

- Steam the broccoli – stem rounds and florets - until tender but not mushy – al dente

- When done, remove the broccoli and cut into smaller pieces.  Do not chop, but simply cut up.

- Place the broccoli in the olive oil/garlic and heat, mixing thoroughly

- Serve over the pasta, sprinkle grated cheese on each plate, sprinkle salt and add ground pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the top if you think the dish is too dry.

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