I loved broccoli and pasta growing up. This was one of those clever dishes that got the three of us to actually eat broccoli by our mom. It’s absolutely delicious and such a great way to pack a ton of vegetable into one plate.. This is my take on a very humble dish. While respecting the essence of the dish I went in favor of playing with texture and layering the flavor of broccoli throughout the dish.
- 1 lb broccoli (stems and florets separated)
- 2 cups of orecchiette or lumache pasta
- 3 cloves garlic (finely sliced)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 chicken stock
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
- crush red pepper flakes
Separate the stems and florets of the broccoli. Reserve about 1/2 a cup of the smaller florets for pasta and use the rest, about 2 cups for the puree. Bring a medium sizes sauce pan 3/4 full of water to a boil and blanch first 1/2 cup about 30 seconds. Immediately shock in an ice bath. Remove, drain, set aside and add new ice to the bath.
Cook the remaining 2 cups of broccoli for about 4 minutes. Remove and shock in the ice bath. Place the 2 cups of broccoli into a blender with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 a cup of cold water. Puree until smooth. Pass through a chinois or fine strainer several times. Pour 1/2 a cup into a small saucepan to reheat for plating. Warm on low and season with salt and pepper. Boil your pasta the recommended duration for al dente. In the meantime, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and once fragrant drop the 1/2 cup of broccoli into the pan. Sauté 45 seconds and then add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Reduce by half then add 2 tablespoons of puree into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Drop the pasta into the sauce. Work the sauce through, add 1/2 the grated cheese. Place the warmed puree on the bottom of your bowl. Spoon pasta over the top. Finish with remaining grated cheese, a sprinkle of red chili flakes and drizzle olive oil.
Enjoy I would recommend checking out some of the recipes by Jamie Oliver for some healthy pasta ideas.
For a more traditional healthier version Skinnytaste.com has their Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe.