Penne Rigate with Broccoli

I am on dinner duty all week because Jon has finals, and I have really enjoyed picking out the week’s meals. Tonight I prepared Penne Rigate with Broccoli, which literally takes fifteen minutes. I love the way the broccoli breaks down in this dish to make a light sauce. If I prepare it again, I will use less salt in the water, but the pure taste of the olive oil paired with the Parmesan makes for a fresh, healthy week night dish.


  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • Freshly ground pepper

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink.

When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.


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