Learning As I Chop

And, I’m Back!

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on July 16, 2011

Now that I’m back in the kitchen, after my three month nap, I decided to start slow and steady. I’m still not the wonder-woman that I used to be, plus add work and school finals = tired chef. However I really miss cooking and making fresh food for H and I to enjoy. Am I returning to a shadow of my former self? Never thought this day would come. Regardless, I wanted to make a dish that was light, summery and wouldn’t take too much time to prepare. I wound-up with this choice:

Leaving-Home Penne Rigate with Broccoli
Salt
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets
1 pound penne rigate
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
Freshly ground pepper

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink.

When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Truthfully, I have no idea how to chop broccoli. It’s just not of those vegetables we eat a lot. But since I’m eating for two, and the little poppy-seed needs all kind of vitamins, I decided to take one for the team. So I just winged it. Looks kind of right, doesn’t it? At one point in my life, I think I’ve seen people use a peeler to remove some stalk layers, but that just seemed way too involved for me.

This recipe was as easy as promised. I did swap a few things, though. Rather than buy the pecorino, I went with a simple romano for 1/2 the price. I figured we wouldn’t really know the difference and it would taste just as good. Plus, I didn’t use as much salt as suggested. The reviews said this recipe was overly salty and I don’t really need to begin the fun of swelling just yet.

In general, this dish was OK. Not the best, not the worst, but good for a quick dinner on a weekday. Might also be an option for kids if you use a lighter cheese. Enjoy!

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