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Broccoli Cacio e Pepe

COOK TIME
10 mins
PREP TIME
1 hr
RATE THIS RECIPE
(30)
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
COOK TIME
10 mins
PREP TIME
1 hr
RATE THIS RECIPE
(30)

Ingredients

Broccoli 'Couscous'
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets, blanched
  • Broccoli Puree
  • 2/3 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 8 cups raw spinach
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pasta
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1⅓ cups butter
  • 7 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons broccoli puree (recipe above)
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced into strips
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons broccoli "couscous" (recipe above)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Chef notes

    What better way to enjoy veggies than paired with cheesy, peppery pasta? Adding broccoli to classic cacio e pepe gives the dish a beautiful bright green color and gives it a healthy boost.

    Swap option: You can use any other short pasta such as penne or shells for the rigatoni.

    Preparation

    For the broccoli 'couscous':

    Grate the top of the broccoli head on a cheese grater, removing all the small florets. Reserve remaining broccoli for the puree.

    For the broccoli puree:

    1.

    In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat.

    2.

    Once the salted water is boiling, add in chopped broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes or until tender.

    3.

    While the water is still boiling, add the spinach and basil and cook for another minute or until tender.

    4.

    Remove everything with a slotted spoon and squeeze out any excess liquid with a kitchen towel.

    5.

    Immediately place the broccoli, spinach and basil in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and olive oil and continue to blend on high until smooth.

    6.

    Place in the refrigerator to chill.

    For the pasta:

    1.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

    2.

    Cook rigatoni pasta for about 5 minutes or until al dente.

    3.

    While pasta is cooking, heat large sauté pan over medium high heat to make a pan sauce. Add butter and slowly ladle in enough seasoned pasta water while swirling the sauté pan to create an emulsion.

    4.

    Add broccoli puree.

    5.

    Add pasta to pan sauce and top with butter, Parmesan and black pepper.

    6.

    Garnish with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh grated Parmesan, chili flakes, broccoli "couscous" and olive oil.