Broccoli-You’ll Love it!

March 28

If you are not Italian, you might think of pasta only with a red sauce or a white. Perhaps you know about pesto (a Ligurian green sauce featuring basil, parsley and pignoli nuts). However, pasta pairs up quite well with many, many vegetables. In the Terra Cotta Dog, Montalbano enjoys the combo below. It’s one of the many dinners the ever-faithful Adelina leaves for him

 These recipe postings don’t necessarily follow the order in which they appear in the book. And that is so Italian of me—why should I follow someone else’s order? I chose to feature this recipe (my own version) this week to give you one last veggie meal during lent and also, while we are all sheltering in place, that occasional trip to the grocery store is more likely to have success in a hunt for veggies than for meat.

If you can’t find orecchiette, try rotini/fusilli or penne. You can sub frozen broccoli for the fresh, about a 16-ounce pack of frozen crowns will work.

Orecchiette with Broccoli

(per portion recipe)

Ingredients for each portion

Allow four ounces of orecchiette pasta for each person (many stores carry this cut , shaped like little ears)

Allow 4-6 ounces of broccoli crowns per person)

Approximately one quarter cup of water

1-2 T olive oil

1 small clove of garlic

Red pepper to taste

Grated pecorino romano cheese to taste


Weigh out the pasta

Begin to boil salted water to make pasta per package directions (I cook it a little less time)

In a frying pan, sauté the garlic in the olive oil. Add the broccoli crowns, some red pepper and water. Cover. Check.  Cook until broccoli is light green, overdone

When it gets to that stage, turn it off and then boil the pasta. Cook to about two minutes under the done time. Drain. Add the pasta to the broccoli. Stir. If the mixture is dry, add some of the pasta water to it. Serve.

Published by Jil

Joan Leotta is an author and story performer. Her books include a four-book series about strong women, Legacy of Honor, a collection of short stories, Simply a Smile, and a picture book, WHOOSH! for children that stresses the importance of parents, especially Dads.Her second picture book, Summer in a Bowl will be out in September. She’s a passionate shell collector and can often be found stooping over bits of beach near her home in Calabash. Joan is available to speak on writing , grief share or perform at schools, women’s groups, libraries and festivals, You can contact her at or follow her blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.comStoryteller

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