Romanesco Broccoli and Rigatoni

28 Nov

Salt & Pepper

1 pound rigatoni pasta

3 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 head romanesco broccoli or broccolini, cut into florets

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2/3 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese, plus more to pass around

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain reserving a couple ladles full of pasta cooking water.

2. While the pasta is working, in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch over, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, 6-7 minutes.  Stir in wine for 1 minute, then the chicken stock.  Add the broccoli, lemon peel, rosemary and crushed red pepper.  Season with black pepper.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. In serving bowl, toss pasta, reserved pasta cooking water, cooked vegetables, cheese and nuts for a minute.  Season with salt and black pepper and serve, passing extra cheese at the table.

Everyday with Rachel Ray, December 2009

This recipe is incredibly fast and easy.  There is an interesting interaction between flavors, from the florals of the cheese to the walnuts and earthy broccoli.  That said, there are certainly more fun and flavorful pastas out there.  The sauce is either non-existent or a little watery, but the broccoli and nuts add a nice texture and the passing cheese thickens the sauce.  This is not the most exciting recipe, but it’s a nice option for a quick meal.  The ease  of preparation balances the lack of any powerful flavor.

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