This pasta dish is an example of the types of dinners I have on my menu for the coming week: simple, comforting, economical, and truly tasty. October knocked the wind out of my sails just a little, and I’m making up for it this month by keeping things (life) uncomplicated, dinner included.
I have no formal entertaining penciled in on the wall calendar; I’m reading the stacks of books and magazines that seem to have found a permanent home on my well-worn wooden coffee table; I intend to get an early start on my holiday shopping by doing it from the confines of my comfortable home late at night after the boys have gone to bed, and I’m hoping to write no less than 10,000 words of the book manuscript, which is due in three months. It may sound like a lot, but in reality it’s all pretty relaxing stuff, and I’m giddy with excitement at all the free time I’ve carved into my schedule to do these things.
My meal plans for the month are taking the same uncomplicated approach. I’m cooking from the freezer when possible, serving up pots of soup and simple one-dish dinners that are comforting yet casual, while keeping the food budget in check after a month of photo shoots and holiday dinners. We all know that December is the time for food to really shine, and our straightforward strategy for eating in November will leave us eager for the special treats that come our way then.
How about you – are you planning a quiet month as well?
Pasta with Broccoli and Toasted Breadcrumbs
- 1 - 400g box of pasta
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta as per the package directions. Two minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the water. Drain well and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot.
While the pasta is cooking heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring it frequently so it doesn’t burn. Add the breadcrumbs and mix them in with the oil and garlic, cooking until fragrant and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot of drained pasta. Add the lemon zest and chopped parsley, and season well with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta evenly between bowls and top with the toasted breadcrumbs. Feel free to cover the pasta in a blanket of Parmesan cheese - you won't regret it.