This is what happens when you have broccoli and you do not know what to do with the over abundance. You look for ways of incorporating the particular vegetable into anything and everything. Today I will add some broccoli to a container of homemade chicken stock and add dumplings to make a clear soup. And then I think I will drench some broccoli with flour and deep fry it for the man and steam some for myself. By then the bucketful my darling brought up yesterday will be all used up. Should more broccolis appear in the meantime, I will do some blanching and freezing.
This dish is so pleasant, even if you are not a fan of broccoli you will wish you were. I was going to make it with nokedli, but we came home late last night and I was really tired. So I picked a bag of small shell pasta from the pantry, [bowtie or small penne will work too] and proceeded with dinner. Cook the pasta soft/firm, not al dente or soggy/soft. The broccoli will be slightly crunchy so the pasta should not be. The dish is flavoured with a little meat; use either lean, boneless pork or chicken.
I checked the broccoli for critters, but just to be sure no worm ends up in the dish, I threw the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta water for a minute or two to coax out what I may have missed. If anything floats out it gets discarded with the cooking water and a fresh pot is put on for the pasta. There were no critters in the bathwater, so the supper proceeded without interruption. Of course if you don’t have your home-grown broccoli and you don’t buy organic, this issue will never come up. But then you may want to pre-soak and rinse your broccoli several times to get rid of all the pesticides. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. The amount feeds two people very well. I packed away the leftover for the man. He will get it again tonight with the fried broccoli and maybe something else. But here is the recipe; the rest of the story is all there.
2 handfuls of broccoli florets [125g]
2 pork chops or corresponding chicken meat [about 125g]
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and ground pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups small shell pasta
2 tsp mustard
1/2 cup whipping cream
• Bring to boil a medium large pot of water.
• Wash and chop the broccoli florets.
• With a sharp knife mince the meat.
• Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large non stick skillet.
• Add the minced meat and sauté on medium heat, turning often.
• Stir in the minced garlic.
• When the water comes to full boil, add the chopped broccoli.
• Blanch the broccoli for 1-2 minutes.
• With a slotted spoon start transferring the broccoli to the skillet with the meat. [Keep boiling the water.] Some of the cooking water will transfer too, but that’s good.
• When the entire batch of broccoli florets are transferred, place a lid on the skillet and continue slow cooking until the broccoli is tender, but still crunchy.
• Meanwhile add the shell pasta to the boiling water and cook until pasta is soft, but not mushy.
• Add the mustard to a small bowl and gradually stir in the whipping cream. Stir until well combined.
• When the pasta is soft pour it into a large sieve to drain the water.
• Put the drained pasta back into the same pot it was cooked in.
• Add the mustard and cream mixture to the pasta and give it a stir.
• Transfer the contents of the skillet and stir it into the pasta.
• Adjust seasoning and serve at once if you like a saucy pasta. If you prefer it less saucy, like my hubby, cover the pot for five to ten minutes until the sauce is absorbed by the pasta.
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- PASTA WITH KALE
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