A pinch of sea salt - I know, I know, but just think of all the vitamins in the broccoli
Dried chilli flakes to taste - optional
Pepper to taste
A dollop of cream, crème fraîche, or Greek yoghurt, would be nice, but not essential
Ideally Pecorino or parmesan to taste, but I often end up using cheddar
1. Put the pasta on to cook in a large pan of water.
2. After about 3 minutes of it bubbling, add the florets of broccoli and let them cook with the pasta for the remaining 7 minutes. I'm sure this is sacrilege if you are Italian or a chef, but it saves time and washing up, which are big priorities for me. When the pasta is cooked the broccoli should also be cooked, probably more than the al dente that you're used to though, but that's good.
3. Strain everything in a colander and leave while you heat the olive oil (in the saucepan which had the pasta in), then cook the garlic (and optional chilli) for a minute, don't allow it to go brown.
4. Turn off the heat and add the pasta and broccoli and pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan and bang it as much as you can. The idea is that the slightly soft broccoli breaks up and coats the pasta. If the banging doesn't do the trick, give it a good stir to break it up with a wooden spoon.
5. Then, if I have some crème fraîche or cream I stir in a dollop, loads of black pepper and serve. Sprinkle with cheese.
I don't want to overstate this, but friends have sobbed their gratitude to me for this recipe. Really. It's a game-changer. Made in 12 minutes (the time it takes for pasta to boil, plus a minute), it's a garlicky mess of pasta and broccoli which kids devour, and (with the addition of some chilli) has grown-ups begging for seconds. It's hearty, warming and I make it at least once a week. The kids love it!
(Recipe created by The Crumbs Sister for the Organix No Junk Challenge)