April 28, 2010 by Flora Dawn
Looking for some new vegetable ideas? Have you tried broccolini?
Often called baby broccoli, broccolini is actually a hybrid between broccoli and the Chinese vegetable gai lan. It has a sweet and mild flavor, reminiscent of asparagus and broccoli.
The entire plant is edible and can be steamed, grilled, sauteed or eaten raw. It can be substituted in recipes for broccoli and because of it’s mild flavor will probably be a bigger hit with children.
Here is a quick pasta dish that my family enjoys. The broccolini is complimented by the bacon and garlic; and even my husband who I have never seen eat broccoli ate this dish without complaints. Of course when introducing a new vegetable, cooking it with something irresistible (like cream, bacon, or cheese) never hurt 🙂
Pasta with Garlic & Broccolini
This is a delicious and easy dinner. I like to prepare the bacon earlier in the day, so the whole dish comes together quickly in the evening. And make sure to read those bacon labels, some contain gluten.
I really wanted a fancier shaped pasta, but I couldn’t find gluten free bow ties or even penne at my local grocery store. It still tasted great.
- 8 ounces dry gluten free pasta, cooked and drained
- 4-6 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled, with 1-2 tablespoons drippings reserved
- 1 bunch broccolini (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, I use cherry tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- Place reserved bacon grease in large skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until browned, about 3 minutes; stirring frequently.
- Add broccolini and continue to cook until tender, but still bright green, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta, bacon, and tomatoes and mix well, cooking until heated thoroughly; this doesn’t take long. Season with salt and pepper if desired and top with Parmesan cheese before serving.