Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lemony Pasta & Broccoli

As a mother of three young children, sometimes putting dinner on the table without someone going "ugh... this is what we're eating?" can be a difficult task.  Different kids = different opinions... and I'm cool with that ;)  There are some things that I know will always make my kids happy... one of those things is pasta. (surprise surprise)  Since I'm making a good majority of things from scratch, I always have a glass jar full bulk pasta (from Tidal Creek) on hand for nights when I just don't have the time or have no clue what to make for dinner. (Fyi... that happens once a week!)  

Awhile ago, I had practically nothing in my house.  I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner and I had about an hour before I had to get my kids to gymnastics and karate.  So... I did what I always do.  I took a quick inventory of the things that I had (pasta!) and I figured out a way to make it work.  That "I'm rushed and I don't know what the heck I'm going make for dinner night" turned into one awesome dinner.  My kids kept asking for more and now this is their most requested meal. :D  (Shout out to my friend Tracy who text me for this recipe tonight!)

Lemony Pasta With Broccoli

1 lb pasta*
2-4 heads of broccoli, cut into florets

1/4 cup organic unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil*
2 large cloves of garlic, minced 
Zest of 2 lemons

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper*
4 tsp kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon 

1/2 - 1 cup Nutritional Yeast*

Cook pasta until almost finished, then add broccoli to the boiling water.  When the broccoli is bright green, drain the pasta and broccoli.  Don't drain too well.... leave some water on the pasta :)
While the pasta cooks, heat the butter and oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and lemon zest.  Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Off heat, add salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Pour this over the (drained) pasta and broccoli.  Toss well.

Add nutritional yeast.  Stir well.  The pasta should get a bit creamy looking (almost like adding parmesan... in fact, you could use parmesan.).  Taste.  Add more nutritional yeast if you like.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If you want more lemon (which my kids usually do... add the juice of the 2nd lemon) 

Oh right... so you may be looking at the photo... thinking... "ummm... where are the peas in the recipe??"  Here's the thing.  You know that mantra "make it work"... well, along with the broccoli I had peas in my CSA box.  I figured why not? :)  That's kind of how I view cooking... tweak the recipe for what you have.  Seriously.  Don't go buying shell noodles to match mine.  Have another green on hand, use it.  Add some chickpeas. Really love garlic, add more.  Do whatever sounds good to you.  That's what cooking is about... and it makes it so much more enjoyable being released from the constraints of a recipe. :)

* Bought in bulk with my own containers at Tidal Creek Co-op