Sunday, March 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli

This dish has got to be one of the simplest things I make when I want dinner fast. Whole wheat pasta with plenty of garlic and extra virgin olive oil and some type of vegetable is my go-to meal when it's a late night and this broccoli and olive combo is my favorite. It's actually a variation of something I grew up eating when my mom ran out of things to make for dinner. I make it special by adding roasted or sun dried tomatoes and different types of olives and sometimes I throw in chickpeas and some fresh basil. I always top it with plenty of freshly grated sheep's milk Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese...the dish is incomplete without it, in my opinion. You can totally keep it super simple with just broccoli, pasta, garlic, and olive oil, as I sometimes do when I don't have any olives or tomatoes, and it's still delicious. Just don't forget the cheese, of course. I should also add that this keeps really well and can be eaten cold as a pasta salad.

These are just rough measurements. There's really no exact science to this. Sometimes I use more broccoli or less pasta, it just depends how hungry you are or how many people you're serving.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli
2 cups 100% whole wheat pasta
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
5 sun dried or roasted tomatoes, chopped
mixed olives (I like kalamata olives, oil cured black olives, and green olives)
crushed red pepper flakes
grated cheese
sea salt

In a pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain. In the meantime, add the garlic and oil to a large frying pan and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds) on low heat. Add the broccoli florets and stir. You may need to add a spoonful of pasta water to prevent burning. Just cook the broccoli until it's bright green and still crunchy to preserve its nutrients. Add the tomatoes and olives and stir in the cooked pasta until combined. Serve with freshly grated cheese on top.


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