Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spicy Penne with Broccoli

Thankfully, I have great friends like Guestblogger Eric M to come through for me when I haven't been able to be a very regular poster. He is adept at serving simple, elegant meals that are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat. I will be adding this pasta dish to my "quick dinners" repertoire. --A Crafty Lass

Sometimes you don’t have much time to make dinner, but you don’t want to give in and heat up a frozen pizza. This recipe is for days like that.

It takes almost no time to prepare, and while it might not be a dish you serve to company, it’s a satisfying weeknight supper for you and yours.

This dish relies upon pantry staples--the only fresh ingredient you need to have on hand is our friend, broccoli. And don’t skimp on the broccoli; the florets soak up the flavors of garlic and anchovies and transform into the star of the dish. If you have some leftover chicken that works well in this dish, too.

To serve 4 people with leftovers:
  • 2-3 pounds of broccoli, trimmed into florets (reserve stems for another use)
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less, depending on taste)
  • 6 anchovies, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook the penne in salted water until al dente. Drain and return pan to stove.

While the pasta’s cooking, steam the broccoli until almost tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

In the pasta pot, heat the oil over medium and add the garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the broccoli and saute for 2-3 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Add the pasta and stir well to coat. You can add more olive oil if you like.

Top with pepper and parmesan, if desired.

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