Sunday, 30 March 2014

Pasta with Creamy Broccoli Sauce

This is a very cheap, quick and easy pasta dish that can be cooked in the time it takes to cook the pasta - perfect for dinner in a hurry, although a few supplies in the fridge and pantry are essential for this to be cooked quickly. I think frozen broccoli would work well,  I keep a container of long life cream in the pantry just in case I have no fresh cream in the fridge and always have a block of provolone in the fridge. I prefer it to parmesan, it is usually sold in vacuum packs in good delis which means you can have one one hand and one open. Once opened I keep it in a plastic container.

 A small amount of chopped ham, bacon, chorizo or salami are also a good addition to the mixture and can make it more inviting to the meat eater and children.

Use this recipe as a guide for quantities, I find that I tend to make more and then have it as leftovers for lunch. It would need to be doubled for a family.

Pasta with Creamy Broccoli Sauce
250 g small pasta - penne, spirals (this is about half a bag)
1 large head of broccoli or equivalent in small pieces
1onion finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cream or light cream
1/3 cup toasted almond slivers
1/3 cup grated provolone piccante (piccantino) or parmesan
ground black pepper
small amount of oil
additional grated provolone or parmesan to serve
sliced/diced ham, bacon, chorizo or salami

Put 2 pots of water on to boil, a large one for the pasta and a smaller one for the broccoli

Break or cut broccoli into florets, Rinse and cut ant thick stalks into smaller pieces.

Toast almond slivers in frypan without oil until very pale golden colour, remove from pan.

Put pasta into boiling water, stir and cook until tender/al dente, usually 10 -14 minutes. Check the cooking time on the pasta packet.

Put oil into frypan, add onion and cook over low heat until onions soften but do not brown, add crushed garlic. If using the optional meat add at this stage and continue cooking for couple of minutes. Turn of heat.

 Put broccoli into boiling water, uncovered, and cook until just tender. Drain and then chop broccoli up into smallish pieces, particularly the stalks.

Add broccoli to the frypan with the onion and cream mixture, return to heat and allow to simmer.

When pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add pasta to sauce. Gently stir in the toasted almonds and provolone/parmesan. If the mixture looks a little dry add some of the pasta cooking water,

Serve, scatter some additional grated provolone or parmesan over the top.

Makes 2 generous serves or 3 smaller

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