Friday, January 11, 2013

Whole Grain Linguine with Creamy Broccoli Pesto

Who knew broccoli could be this well hidden?  And subtly delicious!  

I chose this meal because it went with John's and my plan to incorporate more fiber into our lives as a source of weight loss.  And, I can proudly say that I have lost 5 pounds since New Years!  Fiber is so underrated . . .

Ignore my store bought Parmesan cheese sprinkles on there.  You should have seen John's face when I brought it home!

This recipe is adapted from Deb's over at Smitten kitchen.  And my cell phone pictures are not nearly as good as hers.

Broccoli Cream Pesto

1/2 pound broccoli
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper or pinches of red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons heavy cream
A heap of grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup), to serve

Remove broccoli florets from stems and chop into medium florets. Peel stalky stems with a vegetable peeler and slice them into 1/2-inch segments.

Use your pot of future pasta water to steam (by suspending a mesh strainer over your pasta pot and covering it with a lid for 5 to 6 minutes)) or par-boil (for 3 to 5 minutes) your broccoli florets and stems until just tender, then drain if needed and set them aside.

Before draining pasta, reserve a cup of pasta cooking water and set it aside for the sauce.

In the bottom of a pot or large saucepan, melt butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add onion and reduce to medium-low, sauteing it until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add steamed broccoli, salt and red or black pepper and turn the heat back up to medium-high, cooking it with the onion and garlic for a few additional minutes. Pour cream over mixture and let cook for 30 seconds.
Transfer broccoli mixture and all of its creamy bits at the bottom of the pan to a blender or food processor and blend in short bursts until it’s finely chopped and a little sauce.  Immersion blender will work here as well.

Combine the broccoli sauce the drained pasta and a splash or two of the reserved pasta water. Cook over medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing the mixture so that it evenly coats. Add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding more salt or pepper, and scoop into a serving bowl. Shower spaghetti with grated Parmesan.

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