Ever wonder what celebrity chefs love to cook home? Well, now we know one of Tom Colicchio's favorites: Pasta with broccoli, ham and Parmesan cheese. And guess what? All you need is one pot to make this dish, so dinner and clean up will be quick and easy.
Swap option: Other fresh or frozen vegetables, such as green peas, cauliflower, or asparagus, can be used in place of the broccoli.
- 1 head fresh broccoli, about 1 pound
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound large tubular pasta such as rigatoni or paccheri
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (more or less to taste)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 0.75 pounds smoked pork loin, smoked ham, or smoked turkey, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving, if desired
- Freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large (at least 8-quart) stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
While the water comes to a boil, rinse the broccoli and finely chop the florets and tender stems into small pieces. Discard any large, tough stems.
Add a generous handful of kosher salt (about 4 tablespoons) to the boiling water. Stir in the pasta and cook for about 8-9 minutes, until the noodles are bendable but still a few minutes short of al dente.
Add the chopped broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes more, until the pasta is cooked through.
Ladle out 1 cup pasta water and reserve, then drain the pasta and broccoli. Set aside.
Return the pot to the stove and heat the olive oil in the pot over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic. Add the diced meat and stir to heat through.
Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pot, then stir in the pasta and broccoli.
Stir in half the Parmesan, then 1/4 cup pasta water, then the remaining Parmesan to make a creamy sauce. Add the remaining 1/4 cup pasta water if needed.
Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately with more cheese on the side, and freshly cracked black pepper if desired.