Balsamic vinegar adds a hint of sweetness to this savory sauce. If the slight sweet-and-sour effect isn't to your taste, either omit the vinegar completely or use wine vinegar instead. The effect will be different, but no less delicious.
- For Broccoli and Tomatoes:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, thick stems peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, tops cut into small florets (about 1 1/2 quarts in all)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 2/3 cups canned diced tomatoes with their juice (1 15-ounce can)
- 1/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- For Orecchiette:
- 3/4 pound orecchiette
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons butter
FOR THE BROCCOLI AND TOMATOES:
In a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and broccoli stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli florets, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Stir to coat with the oil. Add the tomatoes and broth to the broccoli and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
FOR THE ORECCHIETTE:
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orecchiette until done, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the broccoli. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the vinegar, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the parsley and butter. Stir gently until the butter just coats the pasta.
Tip: Broccoli stems are a delicious vegetable in their own right. Peel the thick skin and then slice or cut the stems into pieces. If you're cooking them with the florets, either cut the stems into quite small pieces so they'll be done at the same time, or cook them for a few minutes before adding the florets. WINE RECOMMENDATION:<br>
With its tomato-and-vinegar based sauce, this pasta cries out for a light, tart Italian red such as Valpolicella. The wine's crisp cherry flavor will act as a perfect foil for this dish.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
530 calories; 18g total fat; 16mg cholesterol; 796mg sodium; 78g carbohydrates; 8g fiber; 18g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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