Yesterday was Day 3 of Meatless Week and I'm going strong! Being a vegetarian certainly isn't boring, that's for sure. Dinner last night was an attempt to recreate one of my favorite restaurant dishes, Broccoli Sundried Tomato Fusilli from California Pizza Kitchen. It seems so basic, but achieving just the right punch of garlicky flavor has eluded me until now.
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think my version was much better than CPK's. This falls into the quick, easy, and delicious weeknight recipe category. I sure didn't miss the meat in this meal, either. If you're looking for a bit more protein and aren't playing along with Meatless Week, I like to keep chicken sausages on hand for nights like this. You could either serve them on the side (like I did for Andy) or slice them up and toss them with the pasta.
Broccoli Sundried Tomato Fusilli
Adapted from Gourmet
5 garlic cloves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
1 pound dried fusilli or other short pasta
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs (optional)
1. With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop.
2. Cook garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli, water, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very tender and almost all of liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted.
3. Meanwhile, cook fusilli in a pasta pot of boiling, well-salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
4. Toss pasta with broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Season with salt and thin sauce with more cooking water if desired, then toss in breadcrumbs just before serving, if using. Serve with cheese for sprinkling.