An Italian Classic Goes Eastern

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As I was making this delightful dish (ate it for breakfast). I wondered if something like this dish was what inspired Marco Polo and in turn a revelation in Italian cooking?

I wanted something you could whip up in no time because, though you may not be cooking up a storm like me, I know how busy you are and that the next 6 weeks are going to be amped up even more.

But we still have to eat, right?  Can’t we simply say, “Oh, I’m not hungry…I’m saving my appetite for Thanksgiving.” Or, maybe you could  go on a 14 day cleanse…but that’s not my department.

What is my thing, is to give you recipes that are both widely tasty and good for you. This week I’m offering you a dish I revisited in a cooking class I did last weekend. The host wanted to learn how to make penne with garlic and oil (aglio e olio). Sounds simple enough. But he said his never comes out as tasty as it does in his favorite Italian restaurant.

I know that often the simplest dishes are the hardest to get right – there’re so few ingredients and no room for error. We made it (or I should say he made it) under my guidance for 7 of his best friends and it was yummy – though I wouldn’t recommend eating a plate of this during a multi-course meal.

However, as a one dish meal or as a side dish, it’s amazingly easy to prepare and quite versatile. You can serve it not only over a large variety of pasta, but also rice and other grains, or alone as a side dish. It’s wonderful!

Broccoli is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants so it’s really good for you. Saute it with a little oil and garlic, a splash of broth, a little wine, and it’s tasty too. But in this recipe, I did something I didn’t plan on…

I gave it an Eastern flair…

It’s also gluten-free; vegan; and dairy free, as well as a snap to make. Move over 30 Minute Meals, this dish can be on your table in 10!

I encourage you to try this. Not much fuss and so satisfying, anytime (I ate it for breakfast) but especially on a cold winter’s night when you can taste the love and warmth in every spoonful –

which is the only problem with this dish…you also need a fork.

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Before I sign off, let me give a helping hand to my gluten-free friends. If you’re planing on cooking the Thanksgiving Day feast, you may want to stock up on GF bread-crumbs and stuffing croutons…so easy to make your own. Here’s how. On Mind Body Green.

Until next week, stay well fed,

Silvia

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

8 oz. Asian (vermicelli) thin rice noodles – soaked in warm water

4 cups broccoli florets – par boiled or steamed

3 slices sun dried tomatoes – snipped in tiny pieces (use kitchen shears or scissors; its easier)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock – organic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 or 2 fresh garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger

1 squeeze or two of fresh lemon

 

Instructions

Set the noodles in a bowl of warm water and start your sauce.

To par boil the broccoli cook in a steamer or in microwave (in a bowl of water) for about 3 minutes or until the broccoli is semi-done but still too undercooked to eat. The reason you want to par cook it first before it hits the sauté pan is because it’s dense and hard and if it went into the pan raw, the outside would be burnt before the inside get done. Make sense? So we have to help it along…

Place a medium/large (about 11″ or larger) saute pan over medium heat, add oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the broccoli and cook for a few more minutes (3 or 4). Add a few splashes of the broth if it looks like the pan is getting too hot and the broccoli is beginning to scorch.

Make a space in the pan, add a few drops more oil and add the garlic and pepper flakes. Grate the ginger add it there too. Cook for a few moments until garlic and ginger begin to color, add the lemon, stir and add the remaining broth. Cook long enough to warm the broth and bring it to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, and plate first the noodles into bowl. Distribute broth. Top each dish with the broccoli and serve.

Let me know in the comments below what you think about this dish.

And if you make it, come back and comment so we all know how it turned out…especially if you came up with a fun and tasty variation.

 

9 Responses to An Italian Classic Goes Eastern

  1. Nathalie November 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Hmm, Silvia, I love it when dishes are simple and quick yet delicious. Especially when you’ve got small kids, time is of the essence and I’ve found my little ones are a lot more “cooperative” at the table, when I only use a few ingredients. My son is not too big a fan of broccoli florets but since I started to grate them finely and just spinkle them on top of a dish raw, he will eat them without complaining. 🙂 Thanks for anther wonderful ideal – I really do love your blog!

    • chefsilvia November 19, 2013 at 12:43 am #

      Oh. Thank you so much Nathalie and glad you found a way to trick your son into eating his broccoli.

  2. Andrea November 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    I love rice noodles but for some reason never think to cook with them. You’ve inspired me – this looks so easy and absolutely perfect for a quick and healthy dinner. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • chefsilvia November 19, 2013 at 12:41 am #

      So glad you’ve been inspired Andrea!

      • River December 23, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

        A me capita sempre.In un primo tempo me ne ero accorto solo quando ero in auto, quindi associavo il fenomeno ad una qualche fotocellula mal posizionata che veniva illuminata dai fari dell’auto, poi mi sono accorto che mi succedeva anche a piedi… O_vaoviOmente nel mio paese i lampioni sono veramente d’annata, quindi questa spiegazione non fa una piega 😀

  3. Carol Dalessio November 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    I make pasta with broccoli all the time but this is a new exotic twist I am sure to try. Your photos are fabulous!!!!!

    • chefsilvia November 19, 2013 at 12:39 am #

      Thanks Carol. Would love to know how this recipe turns out. Leave another comment and let us know. So glad you like my photos. They’ve come a long way from a just a few months ago so your comment is so appreciated.

  4. Joyce Oladipo December 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Wow, these looks lovely and you make it look quite easy to make. The Asian (vermicelli) thin rice noodles are my husbands favorite and we always go to the restaurant to have a tase of this. Now i have it. I’ll determinately include it with our Christmas dish. Thanks for sharing. Joy

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