Broccoli and sweet pepper pasta

This is delightful supper for weeknights specially for those of us who love broccoli and cannot get enough of it. It takes at the most 30 mins and the current recipe is for 2 broccoli loving moderately hungry adults.

The first 10 mins is spent on chopping a small broccoli into medium sized florets and one red pointed sweet pepper into thin stripes. Top tip – do not throw away the stem as it makes a hearty ingredient in a mixed vegetable wot.

The next 10 mins is spent on blanching the broccoli and sautéing the red pepper. The broccoli should be blanched to your taste- we like it medium crunchy. It is good to slightly under cook it as it will get a second chance to cook further on. Fish out the broccoli from the water once it is done and set aside. Do not rinse the florets under cold water as we want it to remain warm.

While the red pepper is cooking prepare some minced garlic and add it to pepper.

If you want to add some prepared beans or lentils to the dish now is time to bring them on. I generally prepare jars of cannellini beans or green lentils stewed in tomato – spiced with sweet paprika, oregano and hints of parmigiano reggiano cheese – and keep it in my fridge. (Sorry I know this is cheating. It takes 30 mins only if you have done some homework).
You can also use cans of white beans. Drain the beans and add sone tomato paste and paprika and you are ready to go.Add about 1/2 cup of beans.

Boil some spaghetti pasta for about 8 mins. If you have fished out the broccoli you can use the same water. That way you save energy on heating two pans of water.

Drain out the pasta saving a few spoons of the starchy water. Bring together the pieces – pasta, beans, broccoli, garlic, pepper- and stir in the starchy water, some virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. If you are not using beans then add some oregano and about 1 tsp of tomato paste at this point.

Stir the ingredients briskly but gently so that the ingredients get a chance to mingle but do not lose their texture. Keep the pasta over low heat for a minute or two.

Serve warm with hint of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

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