Monday, August 26, 2013

Broccoli Pasta

As requested, here's my attempt at the Broccoli Pasta recipe:
This recipe comes from Stefano, my former roommate. Stefano is Sardinian, but we met in northern Minnesota - go figure. He didn't have this recipe written down, and neither do I, so bear with me. 

Also, this has taken years of my trial and error to get it close to Stefano's version. In order for you to avoid some of that trial and error I think the key is to think and act like an Italian. That means use the freshest ingredients you can get and use a lot more salt and olive oil than you normally would. 

You'll need:
Broccoli - a couple heads - it's well worth the effort to get them from your garden, farmers market, or CSA. 
Onion - chopped
Garlic- 2 or 3 cloves (or more) chopped
Olive oil - don't skimp!
Salt- for the water and then to taste with broccoli mix
Pasta - I like spaghetti or linguine, Farmer John likes penne or bow-tie - it's up to you

Get a big pot of water heating and add salt (at least a few tablespoons) while it's heating chop the broccoli. It can be big pieces since you'll chop it up again after it's cooked. Once the water is boiling add the broccoli.

While the broccoli cooks chop an onion and garlic. Saute in a fair amount of olive oil until the onion is translucent. 

The broccoli should be done by now, and here is the key - don't drain the water! Scoop out the broccoli with a slotted spoon. I usually scoop it onto a plate, and chop it up a bit more. Then add it to the onions and garlic. Continue to  cook broccoli and onion mixture on med-low. 

Meanwhile, return broccoli-water to a boil and cook the pasta. When pasta is done, drain and return to the pot. Add a scoop of the broccoli mix to the pasta and stir. Plate the pasta and add another scoop of broccoli mix. Some grated Parmesan isn't necessary, but it doesn't hurt either. 

Enjoy with a salad or bruschetta and a glass of something yummy. It also helps to think about warm beaches and the Mediterranean sea - or, in my case, cold Minnesota nights shared with fantastic friends. 


  1. Now I am craving Stefan Pasta! Good description of how to make it.

  2. Just returned from the "Smoky Mountains". Our beloved Sierra is full of smoke from the Yosemite fire. Yet we still have to eat. On the way into Berk I bought some broc hoping the recipe from the JJBF would be in the mail soon. Will try it tomorrow with dinner. Thanks Mollie and John.

  3. Lorraine in WisconsinAugust 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    I am going to try this. One of the best parts is that it seems the broccoli will not look like itself, an advantage for me because I cook for someone who won't eat broccoli in it's natural form. I think even George W. Bush would like this dish! And we all remember what he said about broccoli.

    1. "Won't eat broccoli in it's natural form"?! Maybe you'd better cover it in lots of cheese!

  4. Lorraine in WisconsinAugust 27, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    I do that already.

  5. Thanks! I think I'll surprise Mike with this for dinner some night and see if he remembers what I'm imitating. :)


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