I have about 5 versions of broccoli pasta that I make. All are easy and appear regularly on our families menu; week nights in particular because of the minimal fuss. Today I present a version I made up that’s an offshoot of a traditional family recipe. Using goat cheese gives you a creamy finish without the guilt. I made this with brown rice pasta and we all had seconds.
2 broccoli rabe (or regular) stalks
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 box of short pasta of your choosing
1/4 cup of goat cheese plus more for garnishing
1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 tablespoons of pecorino cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Bring salted water to boil in a large pasta pot. In the meantime, wash stalks and beginning cutting stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Place chopped stalks in a bowl and continue cutting florets to similar size. In a separate frying pan, brown garlic in olive oil over medium heat, stirring to prevent burning. Turn off once oil is fragrant and garlic is browned. At the same time, toast pine nuts in a small skillet, stirring frequently until they are brown about 10 minutes. Throw pasta to cook and check time, using suggested time on box as a guide. When 7 minutes remain, add broccoli stems to water. When 5 minutes remain, add florets as well. Stir. When pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of water and drain. Place pasta in frying pan with oil and garlic and sauté for 1 minute while stirring. Add goat cheese, reserved pasta water, pine nuts, pecorino cheese, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional). Serve pasta with freshly sprinkled goat cheese on top.