This is one of my all time favorite pasta dishes. My type of comfort food, if you will. Which has also become both of my daughter’s favorite meal all year round.
Pasta with Broccoli and Cauliflower (shown topped with toasted breadcrumbs)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large crowns of broccoli, washed and cut into a slightly bigger than bite sized pieces*
1 large head of cauliflower, washed and cut into a slightly bigger than bite sized pieces*
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 large clove garlic chopped
3 cups of room temp water
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1lb of cooked pasta, preferably a larger cut pasta like the rigatoni shown here.
*You can substitute 2 cups each of frozen vegetables if you don’t have access to fresh.
The perfect Cauliflower
Trimming the cauliflower stem and leaves
Chopped cauliflower bigger than a bite size and washed
Two large crowns of broccoli with stems and leaves attached
Chop the broccoli stem off and separate the crowns into larger than bite sized pieces (chopping them in half etc)
chopped broccoli, larger than a bite size
1 medium yellow onion chopped and 1 large clove of garlic chopped
In a stock pan, one large enough to hold all the vegetables, heat up the olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent.
Saute the onion and garlic in heated olive oil (on medium heat)
One they are translucent, add in the broccoli and cauliflower. Mix well to coat them in oil. Stir for about a half a minute, then turn down the heat to medium. Add in the water. Then S&P. Stir.
At this point you can start your water for the pasta.
Mix the cauliflower and broccoli in the pot and coat with the olive oil; then add 3 cups of water and stir
Cover the pot and let cook for 10 minutes at a medium simmer. Continuing to stir every minute or so. As you are stirring the pieces of the vegetables will start to break down into smaller bite sizes.
After 10 minutes, there is significant wilting and change of color
Turn down the heat to a medium low and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
By the end of the 10 minutes your pasta should be cooked, ready to be drained and for the vegetables.
In a bowl, mix together the stock from the broccoli and cauliflower with the pasta (to coat and to absorb the flavors). Plate the pasta in a bowl, top with the vegetables and you are done!
I love to sprinkle toasted bread crumbs and pecorino cheese on top. Super delicious!
Done! Finished Dish! Shown with toasted bread crumbs
TOASTED BREAD CRUMBS
This will only take 5 minutes.
Set stovetop to high heat.
In a small frying pan place a cup of dried, plain bread crumbs.
Add in 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
Mix until the bread crumbs change color and get coated with the oil.
The heat will start to toast the crumbs. Keep stirring and moving the crumb until it is toasted to a golden brown.
It can easily burn if you let it sit for a second too long, so keep moving it! My trick is to flip it. Like you would sauteing something. It helps to flip the crumb and you can see the toasting color.
Once golden take off the heat and remove from pan.
The bread crumbs shown with 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Mix the bread crumbs well making sure they get coated. The color of the crumbs will stay the same and the addition of the oil helps the texture and the browning. The next photo shows the finished toasting color.
Bread crumbs toasted in the pan.