March 18, 2013

Broccoli and Bowties

"There’s a lady I know.  If I didn’t know her, she’d be the lady I didn’t know.  And my lady, she went downtown.  She bought some broccoli.  She brought it home.  She’s choppin’ broccoli."  If you don't know what I'm going on about, just click here.  I’m willing to bet my Metrocard that you have pasta, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese and a head of garlic in your kitchen.  Was I right?

All you need now is broccoli to make this quick, after-work comfort meal. This dish has a silky smooth, creamy, mouth-happy feel to it, probably because there's enough olive oil in it to drown an Italian chipmunk, enough to give you what I call "olive oil lips", but for those of us who are furiously counting calories in preparation for spring, one serving has only 500 calories.  That's-a-nota-so-bad-a, eh? This is my mom’s recipe.  She made it for me when I went to her house to learn her Thanksgiving recipes last year.  After finishing off my bowl, I ate all the extras straight out of the pan.  Yeah, it’s that kind of dish.


Makes 2 servings

3 packed cups chopped broccoli heads and stems (rough end trimmed and discarded)
1 1/3 cup dried bowtie pasta (or similar sized pasta)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus extra for salting the cooking water
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Blanch broccoli in a large pot of salted water (the water should be as salty as chicken soup) for 7 minutes.  Reserving the water, transfer the broccoli to a bowl using tongs or a small strainer.

2.  Add the pasta to the reserved boiling water and set a timer for one minute less than the cooking time stated on the package.

3.  In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic, sauteeing until fragrant, about 20 seconds. 

4.  Add the broccoli and salt to the saute pan and turn the heat to low so that the sizzling sound dies down slightly.  Saute, stirring frequently for 8 minutes.

5.  When the pasta is done, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and set aside.  

6.  Raise the heat to medium-high on the broccoli in the saute pan.  Once the sizzling sound starts up again (should take just a few seconds), add in the pasta and the 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water.  Toss everything together for 20 seconds.  Turn off the heat, immediately add the Parmesan cheese, toss well, and serve right away with extra cheese on the side.


  1. Delicious, simple and healthy. My ideal meal. Thank you for sharing! I'm glad I stumbled on your blog today. Have a warm and happy week!

  2. Drool. I need more pasta in my life. I guess that also means I need more working out in my life. BOO! :P

  3. Love it. Sometimes a simple pasta with plenty of olive oil is just the thing. Simple and delicious is *such* a good thing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Me too Sydney! Haha! I agree Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by!

  5. Your pasta sounds perfectly dressed as far as I'm concerned. Delicious!

  6. Thanks Karen! I made more bowties tonight except with roasted broccoli...can't get enough broccoli and bowties.