Monday, 16 February 2015

Quick and Easy Broccoli Pasta Recipe

I've been taking things easy here lately. Summer holidays are now over and I've had a bit of a hiatus from writing and have really enjoyed the time off with my family.

Over the holidays we had a great break and enjoyed a weekend stay with friends in Busselton (free accommodation!) , and also an overnight stay in a city hotel (I got a really good deal on and will write more about that later) But mostly we've been relaxing at home and occasionally going to free events. It's been especially nice to spend some extra time with Mr 13 before he started high school this year.

Lately I have been cooking up a storm and have several frugal recipes I plan to share with you all, over the coming weeks.

First up is a quick broccoli pasta recipe which is so exceptionally easy to prepare yet full of flavour. This one was a favourite among the children when I worked in the kitchen garden, as broccoli always grew in abundance there. If you grow your own it is an excellent way to use up this versatile veg. It is so quick to prepare, which makes it prefect for those weeknights when time is stretched. 

This broccoli pasta recipe is a regular on my meal plan as it is vegetarian, filling and dirt cheap to make. I managed to get broccoli at my local Spud Shed for 50c each when they were in season, so I bought half a dozen, chopped then lightly boiled them and snap froze for later use making this recipe even quicker to prepare!

You can also substitute ingredients to suit food allergies, just swap the regular pasta for a gluten free version and the parmesan for a vegan cheese. This serves about 6 people and tastes great heated up the next day, however you can also half the quantities to suit a small family as well.

You will need:

500 g bag of spiral or penne pasta
4 cloves of garlic
1 head of broccoli
Olive oil
Parmesan or strong cheddar for serving 

First, bring a large pot of water which has 1 tsp of salt added, to your stove top and place on a high heat. 

Once the water is boiling, add the 500g of pasta and cook for around 6 minutes or until the pasta is still slightly firm.

While the pasta is cooking, cut up the broccoli into small florets, stem and all, and place these into the hot pot of pasta and water. Also peel and finely chop the garlic and set aside.

Remain cooking until the pasta and broccoli are both done.

Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander and run under some cold water. Meanwhile place the same pot used to cook the pasta on a medium heat. Add a good glug of the olive oil to the pot and cook the diced garlic until lightly brown. 

Then add the drained pasta and broccoli to the pot and give it a good stir. You can add a bit more olive oil at this point if you like. 

Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan, strong cheddar or regular cheese is fine if that's all you have on hand. 

Here's a price breakdown of this recipe:

500g Coles Smart Buy pasta-          65c
Whole broccoli-                                  50c
4 cloves of garlic-                               20c
50ml Coles Smart Buy olive oil-     30c
50g Parmesan for serving-               $1.00

Making the total cost of this meal, which serves 6 people $1.65, amazing! Even if you paid a bit more for the broccoli, it would still be a great budget friendly meal.

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