Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

Yay for comfort food! My Papa was home and I wanted to cook something for him that he would really enjoy; he travels so much that he is constantly eating out and doesn’t get simple home cooking. Some people would say that eating out all the time is great, but after I lived in a hotel for six weeks once, I didn’t think I’d ever want to eat in another restaurant again.

This recipe is very quick, and should be ready in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta. Aside from the calories from the cheese, it’s pretty healthy too.

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta
Serves 2-3 people for dinner

Ingredients
1 tbsp of canola or light olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium tomatoes cut into eighths, or one can of chopped tomatoes
1 head of broccoli, cut in to bite size chunks
4-6oz of half fat white cheddar cheese
salt to taste
1/2lb of whole grain penne pasta

Put the water on the stove and heat it on high. Heat the oil in another pan which is big enough to hold the entire dish. Saute the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and pepper until the onions are translucent and soft, about seven minutes. Add the tomatoes. Cook sauce on a low heat while prepping the rest of the dish, stirring occasionally.

Now the part that I find the most difficult; getting the broccoli to be at that perfect tender-crisp stage. I opted for the microwave on this occasion because it’s quick and easy, but the broccoli could also be steamed or boiled. In the microwave, it’ll take approximately two to three minutes (depending on the power of the microwave) for the broccoli to be cooked just enough but not overcooked. Set the broccoli aside, lid off, once it’s finished so the steam does not continue to cook the broccoli.

Finally, if the cheese is not grated already, grate away! Set aside.

When the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce, and stir until well mixed. Then toss the broccoli in. Finally, add the cheese at intervals, stirring after every addition. This will ensure all of the pasta is evenly cheesy. Serve piping hot.

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