Broccoli Sauce Pasta Is the Best Way to Eat More Vegetables
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After Thanksgiving and the whole general holiday eating period around it, I can practically hear my body screaming, “Vegetables! Give me vegetables!” I love vegetables, but life just got away from me for a few days, and when I made a grab for the leftover Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator, I discovered my husband had gotten there first and eaten every last one of them. But it’s going to be OK, because the world is full of vegetables and vegetable-heavy recipes like this fascinating dish of orecchiette in a sauce made almost entirely of broccoli.
Serving bright-green florets of broccoli in a pasta sauce is a classic, but this recipe takes it a step further and simmers the broccoli florets in chicken broth until the broccoli loses its shape and basically dissolves into a bright green sauce.
You start by steaming the broccoli until it’s very tender. Then you sauté some garlic until it’s golden and fragrant and add the broccoli to the pot, along with salt, pepper, and chicken broth. You could add some chili flakes too, if you like a bit of kick, and a chopped anchovy adds a great bit of flavor, but those things are optional.
Then just let the broccoli and broth sit at a low simmer, while crushing the broccoli with the back of a spatula. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the broccoli should have broken down and collapsed into a thick sauce. When the sauce is nice and thick, stir in some grated Parmesan and toss the sauce with the pasta and a bit of pasta water.
You could serve this sauce over any pasta, but the author recommends orecchiette because the shape is like a little scoop for holding pasta sauce. Top the dishes with a bit of extra Parmesan, chili flakes, or lemon zest, and you’ll have a great vegetable dish that’s hearty enough for the middle of winter.
Get the recipe: Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce from Feasting at Home