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.
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,
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
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.