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Author Notes: Tired of constantly turning out oily, tasteless broccolini tangled in equally unappetizing capellini, I decided to take action to foolproof a recipe that should, if done right, be simple and delicious. Consider this a go-to for the tired cook who is still learning tricks, techniques, and time management, a little recipe hack to yield delicious results that are well-deserved by any cook, amateur, novice, or professional. —Jr0717
For the garlic oil:
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil
For the broccolini, tomatoes, and pasta:
- 1 healthy bunch of broccolini
- 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/2 pound capellini
- 3 tablespoons grated cheese (parmesan or locatelli)
- Prepare the garlic oil: Pour the oil into a saucepan and heat over medium until hot, but not smoking or ready to sizzle. Add the garlic and seasonings and cook until the garlic begins to brown around the edges. Let simmer in the oil on a low flame for about 10 minutes (make sure the garlic doesn't overcook and become hard (and dark golden) or burnt), and then turn off the flame. Let the olive oil sit until cool, at which point it can be stored for later use, if desired.
- Prepare the Broccolini: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt (**spoiler alert: I use the same pot and water for the pasta when the broccolini is done, so I keep everything set up and re-season when the broccolini is blanched). When boiling, briefly blanch the broccolini and let cool (to the touch) before separating the florets and stems. Our household preference is for the florets only in the pasta, but if you use the stems, roughly chop them into smaller pieces. Reserve until you are ready to toss the pasta.
- For assembly: In a large, shallow frying pan (preferably with high sides), bring half of the garlic oil to a simmer. Cook the pasta** until al dente, and transfer directly to the warm oil. Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the pan, and turn the heat up to medium high. Begin tossing the pasta to coat in the oil, and add the broccolini and tomatoes. When everything is coated, add the cheese and toss again to finish. Add additional garlic oil to keep the pasta well-coated. Serve immediately, with a deep breath, knowing that you can sit down to a delicious dinner that won't disappoint!