This is a very simple and flavorful dish I like to fix on weeknights or as a mini-portion at a dinner party. It’s very dependent on the freshness and quality of the ingredients, like many Italian dishes. You will need a food processor or other pulverizing mechanism for this recipe.
I like to use Eduardo’s pasta which is readily available in the bay area–it is the only one I really like if I am not going to make the pasta fresh myself, and because Fusilli is extruded and I don’t have the equipment, I generally buy it. (Eduardo’s comes in a clear package with blue and white writing–you can buy some of their pasta on amazon.com, but not the fusilli).
For two dinner portions, you will need 1/2 a package (about 5 oz or 150 grams for moderate eaters) of Eduardo’s Fusilli (or other, inferior fusilli, unless you’re getting it from a local pasta maker, fresh) and the following:
1 medium crown of broccoli, fresh
parmesean reggiano (a block, not the pre-grated stuff)
a few pine nuts
nutmeg (just a shake or two’s worth)
1/4 white or yellow onion
1/4-1/2 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
salt & pepper
Boil a large pot of water (your pasta pot).
While the water is attempting to boil, dice your onion & your bell pepper and add them to a sautee pan with a bit of olive oil (a few tablespoons) that is already hot. Let them get soft. Add them to the food processor (or a bowl for pulverizing with a wand, whatever you have).
When the water comes to a boil (while your onion & bell pepper are sauteeing), add a generous amount of salt. Add the broccoli crown, and blanch it until just barely cooked (DO NOT OVERCOOK). Remove it and throw it on a cutting board. Add your pasta to the water. Set a timer for 1-2 min less than the package says–you’re going to eat this al dente (“to the teeth”).
Coursely chop the broccoli and add it to the food processor. Throw in a few pine nuts, a healthy amount of freshly grated parmesean, a couple of shakes of nutmeg, sea salt, fresh grated pepper. Your bell peppers & onions should already be in there, if they aren’t, add them now.
Pulvarize your sauce. Add olive oil or water as necessary to achieve something that sticks together like a wet or loose pesto.
Your pasta should be about done by now, so strain it and throw it in a hot sautee pan, and add however much sauce you think you need to the pan, and toss it until it’s well coated. Serve, enjoy.