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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

spicy pasta with broccoli

here's a quick and easy meal i made a few weeks ago. it was delicious - and even without the parmesan!

spicy pasta with broccoli
adapted from culinary in the country
4 servings

12-15 ounces dry short pasta (i used penne)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 head broccoli (roughly 1.5 pounds), florets sliced into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup water + a little more (i used 1/2 lb more broccoli than the original recipe...)
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) fresh grated Parmesan, divided (optional)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, seasoned and cooked according to your liking

in a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain and place back into the pot off heat.

meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. stir in garlic and crushed red pepper - cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. add broccoli and 1/3+ cup water - season with salt and pepper. cover skillet and cook until broccoli just begins to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes. uncover and continue to cook until the excess water has evaporated and the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 1 to 2 additional minutes.

scoop broccoli mixture into the pot with the pasta and add 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) parmesan and enough of the reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce. serve with the remaining parmesan scattered on top. serve with chicken on top.

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healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!