BY JOANNE BRUNO
I used to have a “less is less” approach to pasta eating. If you weren’t handing me at least a quarter pound of penne with each serving, then I would have a meltdown that would make even the most egregious of divas look like the-girl-next-door. Granted, this was the point in my life when I was running 30 miles a week and going to the gym for at least an hour the other three days of the week. I was hungry all the time and, let me tell you, a hungry me is not a happy-go-lucky pleasant-to-be-around me.
However, that was then, this is now. And now that I am no longer a carbohydrate burning machine, I say less is more. But rather than just cutting all of the portion sizes in half, which would surely lead me straight back to hunger-ville, I bulk up my pasta dishes by doubling the veggies.
No one ever gained weight from eating an extra half pound of broccoli. That’s a scientific truth! At less than 400 calories per serving, this pasta dish is not only quick, easy, lemony, tangy, briny and just good…but it’s also January resolution-friendly. Don’t you just love it when you can have your pasta and eat it, too?
Serves 4, adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
1/2 lb pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
9 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated lemon zest plus 2 tbsp juice from one lemon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 lb fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup parsley, minced
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Add pasta and 1 tbsp salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until garlic turns golden but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and 1/2 cup water, increase heat to high, then cover and cook until broccoli begins to turn bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring often, until water has evaporated and broccoli is tender, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Take off the heat and stir in olives and parsley.
- Add broccoli mix and lemon juice to pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency. Serve immediately, passing feta separately.
Photos: Joanne Bruno
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