Did you ask for a special birthday dinner dish when you were growing up? Pasta Con Broccoli was always my request at my dad's house. Its a family favorite and it was actually the first meal I ever cooked for my husband long before he was my husband. Its one of those meals thats a little bit indulgent and tastes delicious without too much work, so its great to prepare for guests. I love how food can bring back memories and for me this dish has me swimming through all the wonderful family birthday party dinners around my dad's kitchen table.
It's also a vegetarian dish, so whip this one out for meatless monday and save a little money by skipping the meat. Also can I say something about parmesan cheese, buy the shredded or still in a block, please. There was this episode of desperate housewives (who misses that show?!) where Bre refers to the parmesan that comes in a tube as the dust that they sweep off the floor in the parmesan factory, or something like that and I remember agreeing whole heartedly. Good parmesan is a must for the finish to any great pasta dish, I promise.
Pasta Con Broccoliby
Ingredients (Serves 6)
- 1 lb pasta, preferably shell noodles
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 6 Tablespoons Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Flour
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped small
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on your preference)
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped small
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, plus more for top
Steam your broccoli and cook noodles according to package directions.
In a medium to large pot melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic, after garlic has cooked a minute or so add the flour and mix to make your roux. Once its combined and looks like a paste slowly add your tomato sauce, milk and cream. Whisk until combined and no clumps of flour remain. Add in the salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes are extremely spicy, so only add to the level you want. Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue whisking until it thickens.
Add in the mushrooms and turn down the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes, cooking the mushrooms. Add in the parmesan and stir until melted.
Add the noodles and broccoli to your sauce and mix in. Serve warm topped with a pinch or two of shredded parmesan.
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The air has turned quite chilly here and i'm constantly craving comfort food. What are you cooking lately? I'd love to hear in the comments!