The name does not do it justice! This pasta dish is lovely to look at and has true nuances of flavor – plus it’s a terrific change from the typical tomato-based pasta sauce and it’s a nontraditional one-dish meal.
I could eat the Broccoli-Pea Smash by the spoonful. That’s all I have to say about that.
One more thing. Did you know that orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian? Fun facts from the kitchen…
Oh – and another thing. I adapted this from a recipe in the McCartney’s (as in, the famous McCartney’s… that singer and that designer, you know?) cookbook “The Meat-Free Monday Cookbook.” While we aren’t hard-and-fast meat-free diners any specific day of the week, it sometimes happens, and I think it’s good for our budget and is a great way to experiment with getting vegetarian protein in our diet. Not that this recipe is exactly packed with protein. I hate when my examples fall apart like that.
Orecchiette with Broccoli-Pea Smash
serves 2 hungry people
olive oil, to taste (about 1/3 cup?)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3 Tbsp. chopped black olives
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
14 oz. frozen broccoli florets
1 c. frozen peas
8 oz. orecchiette pasta
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add sun-dried tomatoes, stir to combine, and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and peas; cook until very tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to saucepan with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and pine nuts. Return saucepan to low heat to infuse vegetables with flavor.
Bring water in pot back to boiling, salt the water, and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
Meanwhile, smash the broccoli-pea mixture, adding more olive oil as needed, until it reaches the desired consistency (puree some if you like).
To serve, spoon pasta into bowls and top with broccoli-pea smash.