Broccoli is one of the few vegetables all of my family eat, even my eldest son who is ‘allergic’ to many others. Every time he eats a vegetable he doesn’t like, he gets this look on his face like there is a bad smell under his nose and he’s in some acute pain. It’s hilarious and very transparent so I always know immediately if he does or doesn’t like something (even if he tries to tell me otherwise).
So based on a motherly desire to miminise my son’s pain, I was keen to try this Pasta with Broccoli and Tomatoes recipe. Not only was I thinking I would be onto a winner, there was also an abundance of broccoli in my fridge from the markets last week that I was keen to use up.
This recipe is courtesy of a great pasta book (The Top 100 Pasta Saucesby Dianne Seed) I bought over 20 years ago. If find it amazing how you can have a cookbook for so long and still find something new every time you look in it.
What a delight! It turned out even better than I had anticipated and was well received by all (even my ‘allergic’ son). The recipe requires you to make a simple tomato sauce while cooking the pasta and broccoli. The two parts then come together with a great clump of cheese and voila!
Pasta with Broccoli and Tomatoes
Adapted from The Top 100 Pasta Saucesby Dianne Seed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 x 400g cans Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
500g short pasta (I used penne)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, all their juice and the sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the tomato mixture uncovered on a medium to high flame for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce is reduced and thick, blend the mixture with an immersion mixer, blender or food processor.
While the sauce is cooking, heat a large pan of water. Wash the broccoli and divide it up into florets, removing any thick stalks. Slice the stalks in half to allow faster cooking.
Once the water is boiling, plunge the broccoli into the water bring the water back to the boil, then remove the broccoli but keep the water.
Bring the water back to the boil again and add the pasta. Cook according to the packet directions and add the broccoli back to the pasta for the last few minutes of cooking.
Drain the pasta and broccoli well and return to the pan. Add the hot tomato sauce and combine well. Finally, stir through the parmesan cheese and serve at once.
The Klutzy Cook Notes
- If you have a deep pot with colander insert, this is ideal for cooking the broccoli and pasta. Simply lift the colander out when the broccoli is done and allow it to drain leaving the water in the pan for the pasta.
- The traditional way to make the tomato sauce is to pass it through a food mill or mouli. However, a blender or processor works just as well and is faster.
- This tomato sauce is a great base for many other pasta dishes so make a double quantity and freeze it for another time.