Pasta & Broccoli for World Pasta Day:)

This morning @familyfoodie tweeted today is World Pasta Day!  I didn’t know a day to celebrate pasta even existed, but the minute I saw her tweet thought, ‘Time to make and blog my pasta & broccoli!’

Pasta & broccoli and I run deep.  Originally got the recipe from a guy I dated in my twenties. (Thanks Joe!)  A food court restaurant at Midtown Mall in Rochester had the best P&B; often ate for lunch when I worked downtown in the early ’90’s.  What made it so good was the pepper; still haven’t been able to reproduce that recipe exactly.  They used *a lot* of olive oil and pepper; maybe it was pepper infused oil?  What’s funny is I don’t remember the name of the place, the mall doesn’t exist anymore (being turned into a corp HQ), but I can still see that tray of pasta & broccoli in my mind!  Oh yes, the human connection to food is intense:)  Although I make a number of pasta dishes, this is my go-to pasta.  While discussing the healthiest diet with my chiropractor a few years ago, he said, “Karen, protein, vegetables & fruit; that’s it. Nothing white!” and my immediate response was, “Dr. Hack, I’m not giving up my pasta & broccoli!” (PSA: Live in Rochester, NY and need a chiropractor? Dr. Kenneth Hack is the best! He’s been my go-to chiro for a long time too:)  So anyway, here’s the recipe:

1 lb. Bowtie, Penne or Rotini pasta

1 lb. washed, cut & trimmed broccoli florets

1 can Swanson’s chicken broth

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 – 5 cloves garlic

8 oz package of sliced mushrooms

Red pepper flakes

Fresh ground pepper

1 can cannellini beans (optional)

Grated parmesan/romano cheese

Put water on to boil pasta.  Wash & trim broccoli (I buy Costco’s 3 lb bag of broccoli florets & use 1/3 bag).  Microwave the broccoli and chicken broth in 2 qt covered dish for 5 mins; do this for the last 5 mins pasta is cooking. Drain pasta into colander. Reduce heat. Coat the bottom of pasta pot w/ EVOO and add sliced mushrooms.  Mince 3 – 5 large cloves of fresh garlic into pot, add in red pepper flakes, fresh ground pepper and stir. (If adding beans, drain and add to pot now.) Sautee until mushrooms are soft. Turn off heat. Add broccoli, chicken broth and pasta. Stir and serve in pasta bowls with grated cheese.  I like a nice Pinot Grigio or Semillon Chardonnay with this dish.  Buon Appetito:)

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