Pasta and Broccoli

I love this dish. My mother always made it for us growing up, but her version includes more olive oil and just stock. A couple of years ago I was looking though a cookbook and it had a similar recipe but it added sour cream to the sauce. I will admit that I thought it was weird and sacrilege to my Italian heritage, but I did keep thinking about it. Then one day I had a baked potato with sour cream; on my plate were other veggies with broccoli one of them. The taste of all of them together delicious! So into the kitchen I went the next day to work on my sauce. The parmesan cheese and the toasted nuts really finish it.  

Pasta and Broccoli (feeds 4 – 6)

1 ½ pound Broccoli - trimmed, stalk peeled, and cut into bite size pieces

3 cloves Garlic, minced

¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

2 ½ cup Veggie or Chicken Stock

¾ cup Sour Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

½ cup or more Toasted Almond, chopped

Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 pound Pasta

First, place a large pot of salted water on the stove over high heat for your pasta. Then place a large sauté or frying pan over medium heat. When that pan is hot add your olive oil and heat through. Sauté your garlic and crushed red pepper. When they are fragrant add your broccoli and stir. Cover the broccoli with stock and let it all simmer together. Lower your heat to low and cover your pan.

Next, your water should come to a boil. Add in your pasta giving it a good stir and set your timer to the instructional time on your pasta’s packaging. Keep an eye on your sauce in the meantime, you do not want it to reduce too much; yet at the same time you want to be sure you broccoli has cooked all the way through.

Finally, as the timer is almost ready on your pasta add in your sour cream to your broccoli. Stir it well, you do not want pockets of sour cream; you want a coheasive sauce. Also, be sure to heat through. Do not let it reduce too much or it will not coat your pasta well. (If you feel it has reduced too far you can always add a bit more of stock.) When your timer goes off you need to strain your pasta and toss in the sauce. Place it in a serving bowl and top with some parmesan and some of the toasted nuts and serve. You and your guests can add more parmesan and nuts if they like.

Notes: I have searved this with Almonds, but Hazlenuts work just as well. This is also an easy recipe to double if needed. As for the pasta to use any shape will do- I personally like penne, small shells, or fussilie; I would stay away from spaghetti, fetuccini, or any thin pastsa.