Thursday, 20 November 2008

Broccolini & Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Favourite Dishes You Don't Serve Guests
Following along on a story inspired by my friend Duncan at Syrup & Tang
I am going to share with you one of my favourite dishes that I don't serve my guests. It is a dish I serve my family when I feel like not eating meat and just in need of a pure fresh veggie fix. Chopper is a pure carnivore and he loves this dish, surprisingly. Don't get me wrong he loves his veg to, but a meal without something like meat, chicken or fish is not normally his thing. But lately we have been doing a little more of the only veggie thing and loving the freshness of it.
The funny thing is I hate broccoli, but I love broccolini, weird huh? This dish is one of those throw together meals at the end of a hard day at work and your feeling kind of bluh. This takes 20 Min's and is really easy. It's also one of those dishes that you just throw in a little of this and that to your own taste. So here is how I make it.
  • 2 Bunches of Broccolini (ends chopped off)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • Hand full of Sun Dried Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Store bought Jar of Tomato Tapenade
  • Bunch of fresh Basil (chopped)
  • 1 Bag of really good store bought pasta
  • A knob of butter
  • A really good first pressed olive oil (this is essential as it adds to the flavour)
  • Parmesan (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper

Boil your pasta until it is aldente, drain your pasta and drizzle with your good quality olive oil, mix through and keep to the side. In a large heavy based pan add a splash of the same olive oil and the knob of butter. Throw in your garlic with a pinch of salt and fry until white and bubbly, throw in your sun dried tomatoes and give them a sizzle for a minute with the garlic. Then put in your broccolini, stir through with the garlic and tomatoes, pop the lid on your pan and allow to steam for a minute or so. Take the lid off and give it another good stir. Then put your pasta in the pot, give it a good stir through, add as much or as little of the tapenade you would like. I use about two to three good sized tablespoons. Stir through until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste, throw in your chopped basil. Remember you want your ingredients to shine. You want your broccolini to be bright green and still have a little crunch. The same with the basil you want that freshness, just stirring it through at the end will give you that. Serve on a plate with a drizzle of your good olive oil and a shaving or grating of the Parmesan . Your done. I like to use a freshly ground course black pepper with this. It is delicious and fresh. You could use other veg if you would like.
So this is something I don't serve to my guests even though I think they would love it. When guests come for dinner I have that out to impress hat on and I like to give them something magical. This is one of our everyday family foods that is quick, easy and tasty. Enjoy!