Saturday, December 5, 2009
Every day is pasta day!
I love pasta! I love it even more than I love home-made soup, which you all know is one of my favorite things on the planet! I like pasta as a main dish, in soups and salads and as an appetizer. I like it served hot and saucy or chilled in a salad. Pasta is one of the most versatile staples in my kitchen. I have several different varieties on my pantry shelf right now: spaghetti, fettucine, rotini, macaroni, bucatini, ditalini (short tube without a bend), mostaccioli, orzo, and stuffed ravioli are all hanging out there this minute! And I love the melodious Italian names. I've always wanted to visit Italy. I got to do it vicariously a few years ago when our son spent a semester in Florence. I learned about Bucatini (hollow spaghetti) pasta from him. By the way, Italian pasta names ending in "ini" carry the connotation "little," while "oni" means large.
Here's a quick and tasty pasta recipe I've been making for years. You can add or subtract any number of ingredients to it.
PENNE PASTA WITH BROCCOLI AND TOMATOES
1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat penne pasta
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into small flowerets
1 can white beans, like cannellini, drained & rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Add broccoli to boiling water a few minutes before pasta is done; drain.
2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the cannellini beans, diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with the cooked pasta and broccoli to serve. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
I didn't have any white beans to add to my pasta but I guarantee the recipe is much better with them!