Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli
This pasta dish is probably about six years in the making. To explain, I will need to take you back to my college days. Back then, as now, I loved to cook and actually did cook often for roommates and friends. There were a couple of restaurants in my college town I loved and another about 30 minutes away that was worth the drive every time. What was that restaurant you ask? It was…are you ready for it?
It was Olive Garden. I can’t help it. I ADORED Olive Garden in college. I can’t say that I don’t adore it anymore, I just rarely go there. Some things are better left in our college days I guess? Anyway, Olive Garden was always my choice and it was my choice for two particular menu items: the tiramisu (amen?) and the Garlic & Herb Chicken con Broccoli. That pasta, the chicken, the sauce. You guys. I am drooling right now. Even now, years later, not even having tasted in in several years and I’m drooling just thinking about it. I usually got about three meals out of it when I ordered it so obviously it was worth it. Plus salad and breasticks? D.O.N.E.
And now I’m not even exactly sure why it took me so long to recreate it. Because honestly – my version: Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli – is super simple and the sauce is SO flavorful. I can barely even start to describe it. Let me just say that I might have stood over the pan “taste-testing” after the photo shoot. And then I ate more cold, straight from the fridge, for breakfast the next morning. It’s THAT kind of meal. I chose to leave out the chicken but it would be an easy add to increase the protein of this meal.
You can probably guess the basic ingredients but the Star (sorry!) is Italian (Basil) Cuisine Cooking Oil from STAR Fine Foods. Their new Cuisine oils are beyond amazing. They are made with olive oil and infused with different flavors for cuisine cooking. For example, the Italian oil is infused with basil which made a perfect base for my Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli. I’ve tried the others, too and they are just as good. (Ahem, you should pop popcorn in the Mediterranean Cuisine Oil and you should do so ASAP!) You use the oil just as you use olive oil in dishes and automatically you get some additional flavor. I promise the Italian Cuisine Oil will not disappoint!
Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli
Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish; 4 as a side dish
Total Time: 25 min
Quick and simple weeknight pasta with broccoli and a (light) creamy herb sauce.
8 ounces pasta (cellentani, orecchiette, bowtie, penne, etc.)
1 Tbs. STAR Fine Foods Italian Cuisine Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh broccoli, stems removed, florets cut into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups cups beef broth, divided (or vegetable broth)
2 Tbs. corn starch
1/2 cup Asiago cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta cooks, add the Cuisine oil to a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir constantly until toasted and fragrant. Add the broccoli along with a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook for about 6 minutes until the broccoli is slightly tender. Add the herbs and 1 cup of the broth. Stir and bring to a simmer, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk the remaining broth with the corn starch. Add the broth/corn starch mixture to the simmering broth in the pan and stir well until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
This post is sponsored by STAR Fine Foods with whom I have an ongoing relationship for recipe development. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands I love!