Simple pasta dishes with vegetables seem right for busier pre-holiday weeknight meals. This dish is a good example. Chopped garlic is slow-cooked in olive oil with crushed red pepper flakes while the pasta cooks. In the last few minutes, chopped broccoli is added to the garlic mixture and steamed with white wine. The broccoli is cut small, so it cooks in just a few minutes.
For this dish, I like to use conchiglie pasta; its shell shape allows the individual pieces of pasta to capture and hold bits of the garlic and broccoli.
- 8 ounces shell-shaped dried pasta (see headnote)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 12 ounces broccoli crowns (tough stems trimmed off), florets cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Leaves from 1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (3 tablespoons)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste; reduce the heat to low. Cook the garlic for 13 to 15 minutes, adjusting the heat so the garlic softens without browning.
Add the broccoli pieces and the white wine; increase the heat to medium-high. As soon as the wine starts to bubble, cover the skillet or pan. Steam the broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is bright green and just tender. Remove from the heat immediately.
Toss together the garlic-broccoli mixture with the drained pasta and the parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature. Pass Parmesan cheese at the table, if desired.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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