Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli & Fresh Herbs

I was looking for a quick, concise title for today’s post. I thought about “Fast, Cheap & Easy”, but I thought that would open the door for a deluge of smart-aleck jokes and racy remarks. And this is a family blog.

But fast, cheap and easy is an honest-to-goodness description! No false advertising here, I pinky swear.

The recipe, Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli & Fresh Herbs, is originally written as a main dish, which is how the Punks ate it. The Husband and I had a simple sear-roasted salmon fillet on top of ours. It garnered rave reviews from the DamFam, and honestly, I liked it a lot. Would I serve it to company? Hhhhmmm…probably not … but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make it again. In fact, I’ve now made it twice in the past 24 hours!

My pasta was a super bargain because I, for once, exercised a bit of forethought and planted a whole slew of herbs a few weeks ago. Much as I love spending $$ on fresh herbs at Sendik’s (who doesn’t? LOL), I get a fun little thrill every time I step outside and snip off sprigs of my very own parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (cue the Simon & Garfunkel). I thought about showing you a picture of my herb garden, but it’s raining outside and my camera is allergic to raindrops. Maybe another day.

Now, do yourself a favor and run out to the nearest garden center as soon as you humanly are able! Snap up some decent soil and a few gorgeous herbs. Stick ‘em in the ground (or in big pots) and water accordingly. You’ll be soooo happy to have them right outside your patio door all summer long! And every time you cut a sprig or two, you’ll congratulate yourself for your green thumb and thrifty ways. I always do.

Happy last week of school!!

Serves: 4, as a first course

½ c. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature **
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced

2 t. olive oil
8 oz. angel hair pasta (RP’s Pasta is on sale in the dairy department this week, 6/16/10 – 6/22/10)
2 c. broccoli florets (broccoli crowns are on sale this week, 6/16/10 – 6/22/10)
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Mash the first four ingredients together in a small bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the olive oil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for two minutes. Add the pasta and cook for an additional two minutes. Drain pasta and broccoli and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add herb butter to taste and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow pasta bowls, passing Parmesan cheese at the table.

** I love buttah’ as much as the next girl, but I thought one stick was excessive for this dish. I did go ahead and make the whole batch, but I only (ONLY!) used half of it on the pasta. I’m going to save the rest to serve on grilled fish or steamed vegetables later on in the week. Clever, eh?!

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | June 17th, 2010