For some reason on a Tuesday evening I seem to lack motivation with preparing my meal I tend towards a quick, easy but comforting dinner. Tonight was a pasta with broccoli and pine nuts, a combination I haven’t had in ages and had forgotten how enjoyable it is.
Broccoli isn’t my favorite vegetable, not one that I think “OH I must have broccoli this week”. So it rarely makes it into my shopping basket. As I recently purchased a ‘veg box’ I found myself the proud owner of a head of broccoli. What to do?
This is literally an 8 minute meal (depending on the pasta cooking time) what more could you ask for on a chilly Tuesday evening.
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes or so
This is going to be really vague as it isn’t something I measured and dependent on how hungry you are.
- Pasta ( I used rigatoni as it hold s firmness I like)
- Broccoli cut into small segments and just the florets is my personal preference as the stems can be quite ‘woody’
- Pine nuts **please see my note below, lightly toasted
- Lemon infused olive oil or plain olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice
- Parmegiano cheese
- Parsley optional
- Place water on to boil, whilst you are waiting prepare your broccoli.
- Place your pine nuts in a non stick pan over a low heat – in one layer keep an eye on the pine nuts but in about 3-4 minutes you will see them become oiler as they release their natural oil and they will start to darken. Don’t over brown just a light tan is best. They can become bitter if heater too long or if the temperature is too high.
- When the water is boiling salt well. Add your pasta
- Once the pasta has returned to the boil, boil for about half of the suggested cooking time i.e. Packet says 8 minutes, I will usually take out after 6 minutes hence once it has boiled for 3 minutes:
- Add the broccoli continue to boil for a further 3 minutes
- Check both pasta and broccoli after approximately 6 minutes total cooking time of pasta
- When your happy with the texture drain thoroughly
- In serving bowl add the pine nuts and if using some chopped parsley (I love parsley in everything it just seems to freshen up the dish)
- Add the olive oil and lemon. Mix well
- Add parmigiana cheese and serve.
So simple, so healthy – yum!
**Pine nuts if you can try to purchase Spanish pine nuts, they are plumper and release more oil then there Chinese counterparts. You generally need to find a specialty store for the Spanish variety but well worth the effort and slightly higher cost.