Also known as "mommy pasta" in our house, Fusilli with Broccoli is one of the best one dish meals I know. It is even better if you find pleasure and comfort from carbs and vegetarian oriented main courses, but it is delicious and satisfying regardless of the lack of appeal to carnivores. Broccoli is the perfect vegetable. It is loaded with Calcium, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and is fiber rich. If there is one vegetable to love, this is the one.
There are many ways that I like to prepare broccoli, but "mommy pasta" has to be my favorite. I was taught how to make this by an old friend of mine. She made it with linguine. It took me a couple of tries to get it just right, but since then, it has been part of my repertoire. As a mother, it is part of my life menu of healthy and satisfying comfort foods. It also happens to be easy to prepare, requires only one pan, and is made from cutting board to table in less than 20 minutes.
|Fusilli with Broccoli|
|Serves 4 as a main course.|
|3-4 T||olive oil|
|2 cloves||garlic, chopped (optional)|
|1/8 t||red pepper flakes (optional)|
|2 bunches||fresh broccoli, florets cut and stems sliced cross ways|
|13-16 ounces||fusilli or any pasta requiring aprox. 12 minutes cooking time|
|(Barilla Plus is my preference)|
|3-4 cups||water, boiling hot|
|salt and pepper|
|freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)|
|Have all of the ingredients ready. Have the water boiled and ready to go. Warm the oil in a large straight-sided frying pan over medium heat. Lower the heat and, if you are using them, add the garlic and hot pepper flakes. Add the pasta and turn the heat up to a medium high flame. Coat the pasta with the oil. Add the broccoli to the pan. Season with salt. Pour in a little more than 3 cups of the boiling water, stir, and cover with a lid. This pasta must be stirred every few minutes or so to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to check the water. Add more as needed.|
|The cooking time for this dish is 12-14 minutes. When the pasta is ready, there should be a small amount of the thickened sauce on the bottom of the pan. Season with the freshly ground pepper.|
|Serve immediately and generously top with the grated cheese.|