Another simple vegetarian pasta recipe for you today, this time using the winning flavour combination: Sun Dried Tomato, Feta & Broccoli. Our garden has recently launched into productive mode and at the moment we’re enjoying an unending variety of winter greens, chillies and citrus. One of the biggest treats of the season has been growing my own broccoli. As mentioned in a earlier post, broccoli can be an incredibly fussy plant; it needs lots of feeding, regular sunlight and water but if cared for properly it will first yield a beautifully green and nutritious head and later yummy side shoots that are perfect for use in stir frys and pasta dishes
Admittedly, not everyone rates broccoli, I know I didn’t for a very long time. Its flavour is a kind of leafy sulphurous taste that, if overcooked, can be quite bland and boring. For many people their experiences of broccoli have been exactly that – grey, flaccid lumps of mush on their plates left to one side or avoided altogether. Recently, I came across a genius way of cooking the green via Jules over at the Stone Soup, which has blown my mind. Just as I challenge you to change your view on the humble cabbage, I dare you to try this method of cooking broccoli and not fall in love. It’s quick, simple and imparts a wonderfully complex flavour into the humble green that will take your broccoli to the next level.
Combining the broccoli with feta and sun-dried tomato will give you a nutritious flavour combination that you can literally throw together in the time it takes for you to cook the pasta. I used oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes to help add some of the sweet, garlicky flavour into the broccoli during cooking. You could easily substitute this with regular olive or coconut oil and probably halve the total amount used if you are watching your fat intake. I’m not sure how it would go without any oil whatsoever though, I just don’t think you’d get the same effect. When you consider that there is no meat or tofu in this dish the extra oil is really a good trade-off, it will leave you feeling satisfied but not at all heavy.
- ½ cup pasta
- 1-2 tbspns oil
- ½ head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 tbspn butter
- 1 clove of garlic
- 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- juice of one lemon
- 30g goats feta (or similar)
- 1 tbspn pine nuts – lightly toasted
- seast ½ lemon
- Cook pasta as per directions on the packet.
- While pasta is cooking. Heat oil over high heat in a large wok or skillet until smoking.
- Add broccoli and place lid on the skillet tightly so that the bottom of the broccoli fries and the top steams.
- Leave for 2 minutes.
- Remove lid, give the pan a shake, add ½ tbspn of butter & garlic. Shake again and replace the lid.
- Cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add sun-dried tomato and lemon zest, cook for another minute.
- Remove from heat, squeeze juice of half a lemon over the top and stir well.
- Drain pasta and return to the pot with ½ tbspn butter, cracked black pepper.
- Add broccoli mixture, juice of another half a lemon, pine nuts, goats cheese and combine well.