A couple of weeks ago we picked up spinach tagliatelle from the local farm shop deli. I’m guessing the spinach is added to the pasta dough before it is rolled, cut and dried. Living with a spinach addict we thought we’d give it a go.
This recipe was developed and perfected by my wife over the years. To me it sums up all the good things about Italian cooking – it’s simple, fresh light and brings out the best flavours from what is on the face of it a relatively simple and potentially boring ingredients list.
Of course this works equally well with regular pasta, of any shape (penne is good). While we’re on the subject…over the years i’ve become a bit of a pasta snob. I find so much of the pasta sold in the supermarkets these days is poor quality. Most of it tends to have that consistency that seems impossible to cook correctly and goes from under done to over cooked in a flash. Pasta dishes usually work out cheap anyway so I feel it’s well worth spending a few extra pence to buy a decent Italian dried pasta such as either Barilla or De Cecco pasta, both of which available readily.
Broccoli & Spinach Pasta Ingredients
- 120 grams of pasta per person
- 1 large floret of broccoli
- 1 red chilli (cayenne or similar)
- Vegetable stock
- Rind of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Fresh grated parmesan
The key to this recipe is that you cook both the broccoli and the pasta in with the stock so they both take on the flavour. Bring your vegetable stock to the ball while you chop the broccoli into small pieces. The aim is to cook the broccoli at the same time as your pasta, so you may need to adjust the timings depending on how many minutes your pasta needs.
I usually put the stems in a few minutes before the florets and pasta as they tend to take a bit longer to soften up. Next add the pasta and florets and cook until the pasta is ready. Drain the pasta and broccoli, leaving a couple of tablespoons of the water in the pan.
Add the drained pasta back in to the pan and stir in the lemon rind, lemon juice, chopped chilli, two tablespoons of grated parmesan and some black pepper. Serve on a plate or bowl, add some more grated parmesan and drizzle with a little good quality olive oil.
I really would urge you to give this recipe a go. It’s so quick and simple to make that it’s great to cook in the evening when you get back from work late with not much in the fridge or equally good for a summer lunch with a glass of wine. I’m not a huge fan of broccoli really but this recipe has converted me.