Pasta Broccoli…seriously good for you!


Pasta Broccoli...

The photo does not really do this dish justice – if you have never tried this combo before – you must. I had something like this in a restaurant over the summer – and I think this is roughly how they did it – but anyway – I like it like this!  It is simple, healthy and delicious.

I was never a fan of this particular greenery but since reading an article on men’s health last year we are now best buddies! This following article is from research into broccoli and the advantages for men in particular – though it is, no doubt, great for ladies too! It caught my eye because I had a creaky joint – not that type! – it was actually my hip! – and, yes, this stuff is good for joints – so, if you can get through the article the recipe follows – but this is great stuff and worth knowing – I didn’t! Listen up!

Ounce for ounce, broccoli has more vitamins and minerals than almost any vegetable you can eat. (Good news indeed!) Take vitamin K, for example. Broccoli is brimming with 93 micrograms of the stuff per cup. That’s good news, since K is essential for building cartilage and heading off joint inflammation as you get older.

Broccoli also protects your peepers with an abundance of lutein and zeaxanthin, two cartenoids critical to vision. Florets harbour the bulk of broccoli’s carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.

It is also a good source of fibre and may help ward off cancer. Studies show that eating three servings a week of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may slash your risk for prostate cancer significantly. Mix broccoli with tomatoes for even better protection.
Broccoli’s secret to fighting cancer? Researchers believe it’s an antioxidant called sulforaphane, which helps substances called Phase 2 enzymes defend the body against cancer. Sulforaphane also squelches H. pylori, the bacteria behind most common stomach ulcer.’

OK, some jargon there towards the end, but you get the picture. Broccoli is good for you! I guess you all knew that – it was more a learning curve for me….

Anyway, enough science! The recipe!

Ingredients for 4

400 gm pasta
A head of broccoli broken into florets
Olive oil
4 garlic cloves finely sliced
Pinch of red chilli flakes
Black pepper
About 50 gm of parmesan cheese grated – you can use more – or add more at the table

Ok. Put your pasta into a big pan of boiling water – after 4 minutes add the broccoli. No need for salt, as the parmesan does the job later – but add some if you must! Whilst it is cooking ( I cooked it for a further 6 minutes) in a small frying pan, fry the garlic gently in a good, hearty splash of olive oil until it just, just turns a little brown.

Strain the pasta and broc – reserve a tiny bit of the cooking water in the pan. Add the broc and pasta back to the pan and then add the garlic and the oil – stir round – grind over some black pepper and add the chilli flakes – stir gently then stir in the parmesan.

Serve immediately – you can add more chilli flakes to your taste, or more parmesan, or even more oil at the table if you so wish. I like the broccoli a little more al dente than I cooked it yesterday – I took my eye off the pan! So be careful ! But it was, nonetheless, a great and easy supper dish – my kids loved it and it is now a firm fixture in my culinary simple supper repertoire.

And, I know it is doing me….. deep within….good!