Pasta with Broccoli, Cauliflower,

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Pasta with Broccoli, Cauliflower,You can use the same water for the vegetable as you do for the pasta. I cook the garlic in the ¼ cup oil listed here, but I usually add a teaspoon or 2 more oil per serving at the table, more for flavor than for moisture. If you like, garnish with grated Parmesan or toasted bread crumbs.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • Salt
  • About 1 pound broccoli, cauliflower, or broccoli raab, trimmed
  • and cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, or more to taste
  • 1 pound penne, ziti, or other cut pasta
  • Pepper
How to Make It
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Boil the vegetable until it’s fairly tender, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the type (broccoli raab is fastest, cauliflower slowest) and the size of your pieces. Meanwhile, put the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic and cook until it begins to sizzle, about a minute; remove from the heat until you are ready to add the vegetable.
  2. Scoop out the vegetable with a slotted spoon or strainer and transfer it to the skillet. Keep the water boiling. Return the skillet to medium-high heat; cook the vegetable, stirring and mashing, until it is hot and quite soft.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, and start tasting after 5 minutes. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and a couple of tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to the vegetable; toss with a large spoon until well combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, along with more of the cooking water to keep the mixture from drying out. Serve immediately.
  4. PASTA WITH GREENS Here, if you have enough experience to predict doneness, you can cook the greens at the same time as the pasta: Usually you add them to the boiling water during the last minutes of cooking (if using chard, add the stems a few minutes before adding the leaves). But until you’re confident, follow the basic recipe, using about 1½ pounds spinach, kale, collard, chard, mustard, or other greens instead of broccoli. For kale and collards, cut away and discard the stems; for spinach, trim and discard any thick stems. For chard, cut the leaves from the stems and cut the stems into 1-inch pieces; for all the greens, chop the leaves. Cook the greens until tender and proceed with the recipe.
  5. PASTA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH OR SWEET POTATO Very traditional, quite delicious; you can also purée the soft vegetables with flavorings, which almost always makes a fine sauce: Omit the broccoli. Grate a sweet potato or butternut squash and put it in a saucepan with some water, plus some oil or butter if you’d like. Cook until soft, drain if necessary, then toss it with the cooked pasta and maybe a little chopped sage or nutmeg, butter, and Parmesan.

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