Have you introduced your kids to orecchiette? This fun pasta shape is perfect for scooping up cheese, sauce and those hidden pieces of broccoli you mixed in. For an added boost of protein, toss in a can of chickpeas.
2 large broccoli crowns
1/2 pkg orecchiette pasta, (about 250 g dry)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 strips bacon, thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
pinch hot-pepper flakes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, patted dry and slivered
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into bite-sized florets; you should end up with 6-7 cups (1.5-1.75 L). Once water boils, add broccoli and cook until tender - about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pot and set aside in a bowl. Don't drain water.
Add pasta to the same pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions. Place oil and bacon in a large frying pan and set over medium heat. When bacon is nearly crisp, drain all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) fat from pan. Add onion, red pepper and chili flakes. Continue to cook, reducing heat if needed, until onion is tender, about 3 minutes.
Add broccoli to pan. Stir until hot. Reserve 1⁄4 cup (50 mL) pasta water, then drain pasta well. Add drained pasta to pan and stir to mix ingredients, adding some of the reserved water if pasta sticks. Stir in Parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 3-4 servings.
Calories 437, Protein 19g, Carbohydrates 58g, Fat 15g, Fibre 7g.
Originally published in the January 2011 issue.
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