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Broccoli Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce


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If I could pick a dream job, being the host of a TV cooking show would rank pretty honkin’ high.  When I was a kid, I would pretend the window that was above the kitchen sink really was a camera and I would talk to the window like I was hosting my own cooking show.  I even did my own commercials ( I still remember the one I did for Vlasic pickles…so any ad agencies out there, gimme a call).  This was waaaay before Food Network so my idols were few, but the uber-talented chefs like Julia Child and the sort really made cooking on TV fun for me.

I would say 88.7% of the recipes I make are those of other people, they are not my own creations.  I wish that number was lower, but the more I cook the more comfortable I get with combinations and techniques.  Last night I had some broccoli from the garden that needed to get used up, so I totally improvised (Augggh!) and to my and my family’s surprise, it turned out pretty good!

I know I will never be the Next Food  Network star (even though my last name just screams out numerous options for a snappy title).  But that’s fine with me, as the house I live in now has a window over a sink and I have an in-house studio audience of four who give me applause and won’t cancel me due to poor ratings.

Broccoli Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce

Serves 5 (2 adults, 3 kids)

1 lb penne pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb or more fresh broccoli ( I would not use frozen due to extra water it has)
3 Tbs. jarred roasted red pepper
3 Tbs pesto
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tbs flour
3/4 cup cream**
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
Optional: grated Parmesan cheese

** To make this a vegan recipe, you could sub in some cashew cream use non-egg pasta and cheese free pesto -> -> I used that for this recipe

In a large pot, boil water.  When water is boiling, add pasta and cook per directions on the box.

Meanwhile in a large skillet,  heat olive oil and cook onions until soft about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir and add white wine first then the broccoli.  Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add red pepper and stir.  Then sprinkle flour over and stir and then cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add cream and stir, cook for 2 minutes and then add pesto.  Season with salt (about 1 tsp) and pepper. You want the broccoli to be cooked but not super limp and overcooked.

Drain pasta and return to the same pot.  Add the broccoli mixture to the pasta and combine well.  Top with cheese if desired.

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  1. Elaine
    March 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Sounds so good – must try! So enjoy pasta especially with French/Italian crusty bread plain or garlic!

  2. March 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Crusty french bread would be great with this…or even by itself. I could eat fresh bread every day. Thanks for the comments Elaine!

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