Wednesday, March 2, 2011


pasta with broccoli & pinenuts
serves 4
This is one of those great one bowl week night dinners that takes as long to cook as the time required to boil the water and cook the pasta. Any short pasta will work with this dish. I love casereccia pictured above but orecchiette (little ears) or shells are lovely, as is penne.
The beauty of this dish, apart from the speed to plate, is how the broccoli takes on the lightly creamy, cheesey sauce. I find myself always wishing there was more broccoli and less pasta when I eat it.
The pinenuts provide little flavour bursts with some textural contrast. But if you prefer to have meat with your pasta, you could replace the pinenuts with 150g chopped bacon or speck. Just allow a little longer for it to brown in the pan.
400g (14oz) short pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 handfuls pinenuts
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 bunches broccoli, cut into florettes
1/2 cup pouring cream
2 large handfuls grated parmesan cheese
additional parmesan, for serving
Bring a very large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium low heat. Add pinenuts and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until golden.  Add cream and allow to bubble. Remove from the heat.
Check the cooking time for your pasta on the pack. Set your timer to go off three minutes before the pasta will be done. Cook pasta and when the timer buzzes, pop in the broccoli and continue to cook for the remaining three minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli bright green and cooked through. Reserve a cup of the cooking water then drain immediately.
Put the frying pan back on a low heat and add pasta and broccoli. Toss to combine then add cheese and toss again until the cheese has melted. If it looks a little dry, add some reserved pasta water until the sauce is too your liking. Taste and season.


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