There are already several variations of pasta with broccoli on this blog, but this version stands out because it is literally not much more than pasta with broccoli. Other than those two ingredients, there is only water, salt, pepper, and (optional!) a bit of extra virgin olive oil. So it is completely vegan. And it is very good! Of course you can add all sorts of things like garlic, anchovies, chilli, and parsley, or cheese. But the point of this post is that even just pasta with broccoli can taste very good. What is also nice about this recipe is that it uses all of the broccoli (so there is zero waste), and that it uses a single pot (so not a lot of washing up). And it is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Give it a try and you’ll be surprised how good something this simple can be.
For 2 servings
150-200 grams (.33-.44 lb) short pasta, I used whole-wheat penne
500 grams (1.1 lb) broccoli
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp (or more) of the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford
Put the water on the stove for the pasta. Meanwhile, separate the broccoli florets from the trunk. Break or chop the florets and roughly chop the trunk into pieces that are large enough that you can easily fish them out later.
The times indicated here valid if the pasta you are using requires 10 to 13 minutes for al dente. When the water boils, add salt and the pasta.
Add the broccoli trunk as well. Set the timer for the the time indicated on the package for al dente, minus 5 minutes. So if the pasta takes 11 minutes, set the timer for 6 minutes.
When the timer beeps, add the broccoli florets, and set the timer for 3 minutes.
When the timer beeps again, lift the trunk out. Set the timer for the final 2 minutes of pasta cooking time.
Take a bit of the pasta cooking water as well.
Blend the trunk with the pasta cooking water until smooth.
When the timer beeps for the final time, drain the pasta and broccoli florets.
Return pasta and broccoli florets to the pot (with the heat turned off). Add the pureed broccoli trunk and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Add a bit of very good extra virgin olive oil. It has to be fragrant, otherwise you might as well skip it. Just a teaspoon is enough to take this dish to the next level.
Stir gently to mix. (You don’t want to mash the broccoli florets too much.)
Serve at once on preheated plates.
Sweet potato pie is a soul food dessert that is like pumpkin pie, but made with sweet potato.