Broccolini

photo(3) Where I have been?

Broccolini is not exactly new or news-breaking, but for some reason it has escaped my ravenous appetite and hands all these years.  Well, Josie and I put a stop to that!

Fresh broccolini is all over my local farmer’s market and according to my Italian girlfriend, Cat, it’s one of the Italianist and tastiest veggies around.  I agree.

The vendor described the taste to me as “a cross between broccoli and asparagus.”  I agree (again.)  The easy-tasty-healthy recipe you are about to see could also be made with broccoli or asparagus but I made it with my new friend: broccolini.

Michelle’s Broccolini and Chicken Pasta

photo(4)

Ingredients: two bunches of fresh rough-chopped broccolini (approximately 2 1/2-3 cups), 2-4 fresh minced garlic cloves (I, of course, used 5), 5 tbsp. olive oil, 2-4 tbsp. butter (maybe), juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste, whatever pasta you like, left over diced cooked chicken.  Grated Parmesan cheese.

Directions: In a saute pan, heat oil, broccolini and garlic.  Toss, cover on med heat.  Toss again after 10 or so minutes and cover on med heat.  Let this go for about 25-30 minutes (depends on the size of the broccolini pieces.)  When greens are tender you are done.  Squeeze that lemon juice over top and inhale… oh my.  In separate pot make your pasta.  When cooked, drain pasta and mix it up with the broccolini.  Add some butter if you need a little more “yum” to coat your noodles.  You’re not making a sauce here, but you’ll want to get all the goodness to all the important corners of your dish.  Add diced chicken and top with Parmesan cheese.

Unsolicited Tips: Yes.  I know that sounds like a lot of oil and butter–but it will coat the entire dish including pasta so you’ll need more than just enough to cook veggies.  This is such a quick and satisfying summer din-din and a complete meal in one bowl.  Get outa’ hee-ya!

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Ultimate Friday-night Scrounge

So last Friday night I was in the mood to drink wine and have friends over for dinner.  At this stage in my life, though, “having friends over” can mean quite a crowd.  One girlfriend now comes attached to at least two kiddos and even one of those husbands.  It can be challenging to find the time and money to provide a meal for even smaller gatherings on a regular basis.  But it’s poor form to drink wine alone.
 
So I called my girlfriend, Lisa, and asked what she had in her fridge.  (I told you I do this.)  She has a three daughters, including a baby so I figured she may have the goods but no time to whip them into din-din.  I was spot-on.  I grabbed (with her permission!) a bunch of great stuff: spinach, onion, carrots, celery.  What a find!  I chopped it all up, threw it in a pan with some mushrooms, dash a wine and tomato sauce, boilin’ pot ‘a pasta, and wah-lah!  Dinner is on its way!
 
Here’s the really great part: while this is simmering I’m on the phone with my friend Denise who happens to mention that for her family’s dinner she’s defrosting some meatballs she made a while ago…  It was like a sign from heaven.
 
I turned on the charm and invited Denise’s family and meatballs over to join the dinner party.  Would you believe she even threw together a salad for us all to share?
 
These friends of mine also happen to be neighbors which is great because when you drink as much wine as we do, it’s nice to be able to walk on home.