So, we continue our Vegan MoFo posts this month, for now continuing on the molto Italiano theme. Some of you who follow this blog’s Facebook page may remember this very adorable picture I posted of my nonna Lucia a few months back.
This pic was taken when visiting my grandma in Florida. Yes, her apron does say Nonna Lucia on it. She was making one of my favorite dishes, rigatoni con broccoli. Where did she get this recipe, you ask? Was it passed down through generations of Sicilian women, the recipe itself carrying some rich tradition??
Nope. It came from here:
Yep. It’s the Sopranos cookbook. I got this as kind of a jokey gift for my grandparents a number of years back because they loved the show. But as it turns out, the cookbook has some mighty good recipes in it.
This recipe, originally, has cheese in it. But my grandma was happy to veganize it for me– as long as I’m eating, she’s happy, and she even loves Daiya cheese! (We’re slowly working on the rest of my family.)
I make it at home all the time. Although you can always tell when it’s missing Grandma’s touch.
Some fresh broccoli, my favorite!
Apologies for this picture. Keith said to pose and I was drinking wine while cooking so I got sassy.
The finished pasta. The broccoli turns very soft at the end and when mixed with the Daiya makes an incredibly creamy sauce.
A sprinkle of Parmela makes everything better.
Rigatoni con Broccoli
|1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
|8 oz rigatoni pasta
1/2 c Daiya mozzarella
Parmela Vegan Parmesan (optional for sprinkling)
1. Trim the broccoli and cut it into bite sized pieces. Discard the large stalks
2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli and salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Scoop out the broccoli with a small sieve. Reserve the cooking water in the pot.
3. Pour the olive oil into a skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the garlic and red pepper, cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly golden. Add the broccoli and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is soft.
4. Meanwhile, bring the water back to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is not quite tender. Scoop out about 1 cup of the cooking water and set it aside. Drain the rigatoni and add it to the skillet with the broccoli. Add the Daiya mozzarella and the reserved cooking water and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or more.
5. Sprinkle with Parmela for some extra cheesy flavor.