I love broccoli and buy a head nearly every week. Sometimes I roast it, other times I turn it into a hot, cheesy soup but today I’m pairing it with Pancetta, that lovely Italian ham, some toasted pine nuts and a big grating of Reggiano Parmigiano. It’s a great combination of flavors and textures–crunchy nuts with salty pancetta, earthy broccoli and subtle almost sweet, grated cheese.
It’s super easy to throw together and if you have gluten free pasta you can make a gluten free masterpiece!
Kitchen Princess Pasta!
Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli
- 1 head of organic broccoli
- 6 ounces of pancetta or bacon
- 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, regular parmesan or romano cheese
- 1 cup organic chicken broth
- 1 box of penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup of pasta water from the cooked pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and saute the pine nuts about 5 minutes or until they are beginning to brown.
- Trim the broccoli, peel the stems and chop into bite size pieces.
- Steam the broccoli in a steamer or boil for 5 minutes until crisp-tender.
- Dice the pancetta and saute in a large saute pan in the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic.
- When the pancetta is beginning to get brown, remove from the pan.
- Add the broccoli to the pan and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken broth and the crushed red pepper flakes.
- Let the broccoli cook in the chicken broth for a few minutes but don’t let it get mushy.
- Add the pasta to the broccoli and add the reserved cup of pasta water. Cook for a couple minutes so pasta can absorb some of the liquid.
- Add the reserved pancetta and garlic, the toasted pine nuts and the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- You can use bacon in place of the pancetta. Even Italian sausage would be good.
- Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese really makes a difference in this dish.
- Here’s a couple more pasta dishes you may want to try: Perfect Pasta Salad and Raw, Vegan, Veggie Pasta Salad.