Isn’t it strange how a short work-week actually feels like a very long week? I can’t seem to keep my days straight. Steve even woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday! What the heck is going on!? I suppose we’re ready for another weekend, huh? Last weekend was really great—I’ll tell you all about that in another post, though. I have such pretty pictures to share!
Anyway, moving on to this fan-tab-u-lous pasta dish. The flavor is spot on! I made this dish once before, but this time I tweaked the recipe a bit and it turned out better than I could have imagined. We gobbled it right down! Speaking of, I came across a sign on Etsy that said “Gobble ‘til you wobble”. I almost died! Is that not the cutest?
Okay, okay, focus.
This pasta dish—it’s simple, creamy as can be, and incredibly scrumptious. I used a bag of frozen broccoli, steamed in the microwave. Then I blended the broccoli with sautéed garlic, red pepper flakes, milk, Parmesan, and a bit of half & half to add extra creaminess. Oh, and a small amount of pasta water. Seriously, this sauce takes all of 5 minutes. You really can’t go wrong!
The peas were a last minute addition, and they worked beautifully with the broccoli flavor. As if the bright green broccoli sauce wasn’t enough…these sweet little peas also add another layer of gorgeous green color. They’re healthy too, right?! Another win-win.
Psst! Let me tell you a little secret…broccoli is probably one of my least favorite vegetables, but there’s just something about this dish. It’s a home-run, no doubt about it! Dare I say…kids might even like it? Give it a go and let me know!
One last little side note. I’m floored by how easy it is to make vegetables into yummy, creamy sauce. Like my Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with the most amazing silky-smooth texture—seriously, like velvet in your mouth. Next up, I’d like to make a creamy carrot pasta sauce. I think it has the potential to be good. You?
Broccoli & Pea Pasta
Yields 4-6 servings
- 1 (16 oz.) box of penne pasta
- 1½ tsp. canola oil
- 4 small gloves of garlic—minced
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 (12 oz.) bag of frozen broccoli—cooked according to package directions
- ½ cup half & half
- ¾ cup milk (I used 2%)
- ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese + more for sprinkling
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 cup frozen peas—thawed
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve about a ½ cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, heat the canola oil in a small pot set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant—about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
To a blender, add the broccoli, half & half, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and the sautéed garlic and red pepper flakes. Blend on high until smooth. Add a 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water and blend again—add more pasta water a little at a time, if necessary. But, don’t add too much, as you want the sauce to be creamy, not watery.
Add the sauce to the pot with the drained pasta and gently stir to combine. Add the thawed peas, season with salt and pepper, plus a bit more Parmesan cheese, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats