The BF is traveling for work this week, so I’m planning to make myself pasta for dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Emphasis on the “single.” Nothin’ like letting your inner carb monster loose while Instagram is exploding with Valentines posts and Crazy Ex Girlfriend songs run through your head to remind you how lucky you are to be loved and appreciated despite weirdness and tendency to eat an entire package of gnocchi. After a good long while, I expect I will get bored of refined carbs. I haven’t yet, but I’m willing to push myself and test my own limits. For the good of the world and America — make America great again with bleached flour! (I am also watching just enough 2016 primary coverage to be boring/dangerous. Let’s just say that you don’t want to know how many Chris Christy jokes wound up on the cutting room floor today.)
Up first? This delicious broccoli spaghetti. It’s hearty but not too filling, and the broccoli flavors really shine. Not sold yet? It’s perfect for a night when you’re looking for an easy dinner to throw together while catching up with an old college pal and you’re hungry but all you REALLY want is to devote your full attention to hearing about her new boyfriend (they were friends first, they work together, it’s a secret from coworkers which is just the usual amount of complicated AND they are coming to visit in a few weeks!)
Which is the long way of saying the pasta and broccoli pesto are quick and easy, and a great weeknight dinner. Still not convinced? Wait until tomorrow and see what I do with the leftovers…
- ½ lb. dried spaghetti
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into smaller than bite-sized pieces
- Salt to taste
- ½ c. grated parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice
- Set the oil to heat over medium heat in a large skillet. At the same time, set a large stockpot of salted water over high heat for the pasta. Once the stockpot gets to a high boil, cook the spaghetti per the box instructions.
- Once the oil is hot, add the smashed garlic to the skillet and stir. When the garlic is fragrant and just slightly browned -- it should only take a minute or so -- add the broccoli to the skillet, season with salt and stir to coat with the garlicky oil. Allow the broccoli to brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add about ¼ cup of the pasta water to the broccoli and cover. Allow the broccoli to steam until soft, about 10 minutes. Once the broccoli is soft, smash it with the back of a wooden spoon until it looks like a rough pesto.
- Add the cooked spaghetti and most of the grated parmesan and stir, adding pasta water in ¼ cup increments until the sauce is emulsified and sticking to the spaghetti. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and the rest of the parmesan. Serve hot.