Like most people, I’m extremely pleased with food that merely tastes good.
It’s a bonus if said food also LOOKS good.
One of the first things that I remember eating that I also thought was pretty was a certain pasta dish my mom used to make. It was pasta with broccoli, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. What made it so pretty was that somehow, the little flowers from the “trees” of the broccoli would come off the stalks and speckle the pasta. It was simple, delicious, and we ate it all the time.
As with so many of my favorite “mom” dishes, I tried to replicate it in my dinky college kitchen and failed. Well, whatever it was that I created was always edible, but it wasn’t like my mom’s. There was always something just, off. It was never “broccoli-y” enough for me.
Then, once I had a more real kitchen in my first real apartment, my mom revealed her secret to the pretty pasta. She cooked fresh broccoli in the same pot with the pasta, drained it together, then seasoned the whole thing. So thats what I was missing!
I put my own twist on Pretty Pasta tonight to make a filling and satisfying meal that would carry me into the rest of the week for lunches.
One Pot Pretty Pasta
Ingredients (8 hearty servings)
- 16 ounces dry whole wheat pasta
- 2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces grated parmigiano reggiano
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cream or half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil with the kosher salt.
Add the pasta and broccoli and cook for about 8 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Drain and return to the pot
Add the milk, cream or half and half, tomatoes, and parmigiano reggiano and stir well.
Add the mozzarella, allow to sit a few minutes to allow the cheeses to melt, then add black pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
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The photo above is a perfect example of why I call this “Pretty Pasta.” See that lovely flower decorating the noodle on the fork? It’s so much more fun than just “pasta with broccoli and tomatoes.” Not to mention the pasta takes on a slight broccoli flavor… which is what I was always missing when I tried to replicate my mom’s back in college.
Definitely something you should try!