Even when you think you can't . . .

Even when you think you can’t . . .

I have a cold, not really a big deal but somehow it really wiped me out and got me down last night. On the heals of a year of cancer treatment it seems like a cold shouldn’t bother me at all and hopefully in the future it won’t, but yesterday, it did. I guess I feel like the universe owes it to me to feel great now!

In my woe-is-me mode I wondered what I would feed my always-hungry family who’s return from work/soccer was imminent. Earlier in the day I had chopped up some broccoli so I had a start. When pondering just getting slices of pizza from the neighborhood pizza shop I realized that if I just boiled a pot of water and cooked pasta and the broccoli in the same pot, tossed in some cheese and a few chili flakes I would have dinner. I did just that. It was happily devoured and we had enough left over for lunches today. No, there was no salad or anything else to go with it but there were satisfied bellies and my weary self was hardly any wearier for it. . .and actually I was rather pleased with myself.  Simple is satisfying, inexpensive and low effort and sometimes all that’s needed.

Simple Broccoli Pasta

Cauliflower, snap peas, asparagus and salad turnips would all be delicious instead of the broccoli.

Serves 4

6 cups broccoli, stems (peeled) and florets and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb stout pasta, like penne, fusilli or rigatoni
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice or a combination of cheeses
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch or two red pepper flakes
Splash of good olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and set a timer for 3-4 minutes less than the cooking time for the pasta. When the timer goes off,  add the broccoli to the pasta and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until both pasta and broccoli are tender. Scoop out save 1/2 cup of hot, starchy pasty cooking water and then drain everything well and put in a serving dish with the cheese, the reserved cooking water a good splash of olive oil and black and hot pepper. Mix well and taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and/or oil.

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