A quirky way to eat pasta, and a great way to eat vegetables. This is a more presentable way to serve the broccoli that I also make for bruschetta.
I love any pasta with vegetables really, but this is my favourite. It’s a really good combination, as you get goodness of the vegetables, a kick from the chilli and the end result with parmesan is a wholesome, creamy sauce.
· 250g Broccoli
· 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
· chilli flakes (otional)
· olive oil or chilli oil
· pasta such as conchiglie or orecchiette
Cook the broccoli
Put a panful of water on to boil and add salt.
Chop the broccoli into smallish chunks and when the water boils, add the broccoli to the pan and cook until they are tender. Drain the broccoli and set aside. Here is a tip to make this dish a little extra: drain the broccoli over a large pan and so keep the green broccoli water. Use this to cook the pasta. You may have to top it up with more water if necessary but it helps the taste of broccoli infuse into the pasta as wel as surround it with the sauce It may be an added complication that you can do without, but try it if possible!
Put the water on to boil for the pasta
When the water boils, add the pasta and stir. Cook for the time stated on the packet.
Make the sauce
In a large frying pan, drizzle a good amount of olive oil and add the garlic and chilli flakes (less than half a teaspoon is usually enough, but that depends on your taste).
Allow the garlic to cook slightly and then add the drained broccoli. As you stir, bash the broccoli about a bit and squash it with the back of the spoon to create some broccoli paste with lovely large lumpy bits in.
Now, with a spoon or ladle, get some water from the cooking pasta and add into the broccoli pan. Continue bashing and stirring until the broccoli is a paste with lovely large lumpy bits in and looks like it will happily cover the pasta. Continue adding liquid from the pasta until it looks right.
Drain, mix and serve
Drain the pasta when it is ready and add to the pan of broccoli. Stir and mix well and then place in a serving bowl.
Serve with lots of parmesan cheese.