Important Note: This recipe was inspired by and based on: Serious Eats – Braised Broccoli and Tomato Pasta. I changed the recipe based on what I had available in my house and omitted the oil to make the recipe Engine 2 and Dr. Esselsytn diet friendly.
Braised Broccoli and Tomato Pasta
8 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (garnish)
1/4 cup lemon juice + 1/4 cup water (or 1/2 cup dry white wine)
1 12 or 16 oz bag frozen broccoli (or) 1 head of fresh broccoli (cut into 1/2 to 1 inch florets)
2 cans of diced tomatoes (normal size cans – 14.5 oz each)
1 1b pasta – such as rotini or ziti
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Sea or Kosher Salt
1. Reserve 10 florets or so for later, place remaining broccoli in a large pot (so you can mix pasta and sauce in one pot later) and cook on medium. (If using frozen broccoli, no need to add water or oil.) If using fresh broccoli, add some water and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.
2. Add the crushed red pepper, oregano and garlic to the pot and stir. Cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds. (I forgot to stir and left it on for two minutes and mine turned out fine – careful though, you don’t want the seasonings to burn.)
3. Add the lemon juice water mixture (or dry white wine) to the pan and stir. Cook to slightly reduce – about 2 minutes.
4. Pour in your diced tomatoes and give it a stir. Turn up heat and bring to a boil. One the sauce boils, turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 1 hour. Season with salt to your taste.
5. Make pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to sauce.
6. (optional) Add reserved frozen broccoli to the pot and allow to pot to continue to simmer for a few minutes (until broccoli is slightly tender.) This step creates better color and another dimension of texture – slight crunch. (You may want to steam fresh broccoli before adding it in.)
7. Season to taste (add more salt if needed) and add nutritional yeast. Stir. (The nutritional yeast takes some of the heat out and makes me feel like I am adding cheese.)
8. Add chopped parsley leaves as a garnish according to your taste and preference.