When I saw something like this on FoodTV’s Barefoot Contessa (Brocolli and Bowties from the “Kids in a Candy Store” episode) and decided to make up my own, simpler, variant and give it a try. It’s incredibly simple and, if you use the multicolored rotini, it comes out delightfully colorful. You can also add chicken to this to make it a complete meal.
So, here’s my version:
1 cup broccoli florets (1 head)
4 handfuls of dry rotini pasta, the colorful kind if possible
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (I use the ready-minced-garlic-in-a-jar for this)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Steam the broccoli for 10 minutes – or until just tender (don’t overcook). Place in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, letting the butter brown, but not burn. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Pour this over the broccoli and pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add grated parmesan and toss well.
It’s very important to use a large amount of water and salt the water WELL (if it tastes like seawater it’s great) when you cook pasta. Try it sometime – boil some pasta in just enough plain water to cover it, then cook the same kind of pasta in another pot with triple the amount of water and a few tablespoons of salt. Drain, rinse and taste ‘em. Big diff.