Broccoli Stuff

A recipe that came out of my broke early 20’s. I was living with roommates who were also usually broke, and we all lived paycheck to paycheck. I was usually the one to cook, and tried to make meals of cheap ingredients taste delicious. The most requested meal that came out of that time was a combination of broccoli, pasta, and parmesan cheese that eventually became known simply as Broccoli Stuff.

Broccoli Stuff
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 heads of broccoli
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pound bite-sized pasta
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ to ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese (powdered won't taste as good here)
Instructions
  1. Get a few heads of Broccoli, and break them into bite sized pieces.
  2. Fill a large pan ¾ full of water, and bring to a boil. Add a few splashes of salt, then toss in the broccoli florets. Cook for just a few minutes, long enough for the florets to green up, and the water to turn a light chartreuse.
  3. Scoop out the florets, and add the pasta - I like penne, but anything bite-sized will work. Cook the pasta until it's al dente.
  4. In a large skillet, drizzle in the olive oil, and some minced garlic - I usually go for about 3-4 cloves - and let it start to get golden, then add in the cooked broccoli florets.
  5. Grind some pepper over the broccoli, and then add in the cooked pasta.
  6. Next, add a few pats of butter to the sides of the mixture, letting it melt down into it... mmm, butter...
  7. Toss the mixture around to get everything well-mixed.
  8. Turn off the heat, and sprinkle a good ¼ to ½ cup of parmesan over the pan, let it melt a bit, then stir it in.

Previously published in part here: http://cookingwithevil.blogspot.com/2010/03/broccoli-stuff.html

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Pasta Pomodoro

In a Hurry?
  • Cook pasta
  • Dice tomatoes, mozarella, onions
  • Cut basil
  • Mix, add olive oil, balsamico, pepper, salt
  • Pour over pasta

Many years back, I spent a month in summer in Sicily, invited by an Italian family. Among the greatest things I remember where the meals on the big table on the front porch. Of course, there were plenty of dishes I had never seen and the potential to learn a lot. But who knew that I needed those 30 years later or that I would even talk about them. One of the surprising dishes was pasta with fresh tomatoes. The tomatoes, balsamico and the basil gave the dish a light and refreshing flavor. A great meal for a summer day.

There are many variations of pasta pomodoro on the internet. Some of them are asking to heat up the tomatoes together with the onions, but using the fresh tomatoes is exactly what makes this dish a great dish to eat on a summer night on your porch. If you are feeling adventurous, don’t even saute the onions and the garlic, just add them raw. That makes it taste sharper, which might take the romance out of the meal, but it’s certainly tasty as well.

Recipe: Pasta Pomodoro
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of pasta, spaghetti, penne, farfalle, your pick
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, cut into strips
  • 5-8 oz mozarella (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamico
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta
  2. Dice the onion
  3. Peel the garlic
  4. Saute the onions lightly and add the garlic using a garlic press
  5. Dice the tomatoes
  6. Cut the basil leaves into strips
  7. Pull the mozarella into chunks
  8. Put tomatoes, onions, basil and mozarella together in a mixing bowl
  9. Add the balsamico, olive oil
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Mix well
  12. Drain the pasta and let it sit for a moment.
  13. Serve the pasta in a bowl and top it with the pomodoro mix
Notes
If you don't have mozarella at hand, leave it out of the base mix and just add grated parmesan when the dish is served.

 

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Eggplant Pasta

It can’t get any easier than that. What do you do if your wife loves eggplant parmiggiano, but you really hate the breading and frying part of it? Here’s the answer. Just dice the eggplant already, fry them in the pan in oil and cover it in the same pasta sauce you’d be using for eggplant parmiggiano. Et Voila. You see, I speak multiple languages.

Oh, some trick in preparing eggplant. Follow the link.

Recipe: Eggplant Pasta
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
An easy variation on pasta and pre-made sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 pound of pasta (spaghetti, penne, you name it)
  • 1 pound of pasta sauce
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350-375 F
  2. Peel and dice the eggplant.
  3. Roast the diced eggplant in a pan.
  4. Transfer the eggplant into a fireproof dish.
  5. Add the pasta sauce.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta in parallel

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