This is an all-time Italian favorite from my childhood.
It couldn’t be easier to make and it’s a true comfort food. I especially like to make it with al dente pasta shells – they are about the same size as the broccoli florets so everything is bite-sized and easy to eat.
- 2 large heads of broccoli
- 1 lb. box of large pasta shells (my preferred brand is Barilla)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 4. T. olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Bring 4-6 quarts of water to boil. Add salt to water to taste and boil shells until firm to the bite. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Remove thick stems from broccoli and discard or save for stock. Cut florets into bite-sized pieces. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
- In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil on broccoli with 1/4 tsp salt. When fully coated, saute in large pot over medium heat for approximately two minutes until broccoli is bright green and crisp.
- Lower the heat on the broccoli mixture to low. Add the garlic and pasta. Continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until fully incorporated. Add some of the reserved pasta water to prevent the mixture from getting dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
- Ladle the mixture into four bowls.
- Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan cheese if desired.