Broccoli and bowties is a dish my mom makes the night before the holidays; a low maintenance, comforting pile of pasta. It's more of a comfort food than you'd think. The broccoli is blanched into soft submission, made creamy with generous amounts of olive oil and parmesan cheese and breaks down into almost a chunky pesto. You'll keep going back for more. Sometimes you'll even eat it straight out of the pan. —Dorie Colangelo (formerly BrooklynSalt)
packed cups chopped broccoli heads and stems (rough end trimmed and discarded)
1 1/3 cups
dried bowtie pasta (or similar sized pasta)
Blanch broccoli in a large pot of salted water (the water should be as salty as chicken soup) for 7 minutes. Reserving the water, transfer the broccoli to a bowl using tongs or a small strainer.
Add the pasta to the reserved boiling water and set a timer for one minute less than the cooking time stated on the package.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, sautéing until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
Add the broccoli and a pinch of salt to the saute pan and turn the heat to low so that the sizzling sound dies down slightly. Saute, stirring frequently for 8 minutes.
When the pasta is done, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and set aside.
Raise the heat to medium-high on the broccoli in the saute pan. Once the sizzling sound starts up again (should take just a few seconds), add in the pasta and the 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water. Toss everything together for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat, immediately add the Parmesan cheese, toss well, and serve right away with extra cheese on the side.