It’s Meatless Monday again and today, we are 7 weeks into our family challenges. We introduce new weekly challenges as an attempt to reduce our ecological footprint but the one constant is Meatless Monday’s.
Meatless Monday’s are making us think a little more about what we will be enjoying for dinner and yet it can be as simple and as wonderful as eggs on toast. We are celebrating the vegetable! Our three sweet girls are right behind it and understand that this small weekly commitment from us, as a family, is about healthy and sustainable eating. It’s about going without meat one day a week to benefit our health and the health of our planet. It’s about food that is nutritious and good for us.
I filmed our daughter’s making dinner on our very first Meatless Monday challenge. It has taken me a while to get it up and it is a little bumpy in parts but I love it, I love them and they have made this Mama and Papa very proud indeed. Well done girls – it was delicious!
Penne with broccolli, fresh herbs & cheese
2 large heads of broccolli
400g Penne pasta or other pasta of choice
Extra virgin olive oil
A small knob of unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
A small pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
150g your choice of a nice quality melting cheese (eg. fontina, gruyere, cheddar,
150g freshly grated parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
A small bunch of freshly chopped herbs, leaves picked and roughly chopped (eg.
Parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram)
Using a small sharp knife, trim the broccoli flowers away from the main stalk and set aside. Trim the base off the stalk as well as any woody bits and throw these away. Finely dice the stalk and set aside, separate to your broccolli flowers.
Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to the boil. Add salt to your water. When your water is rapidly boiling, addthe pasta to the water and cook according to your packet instructions (we used ‘Martelli’ brand of pasta with a cooking time is 8-9 minutes). Stir your pasta from time to time and in the last 3 minutes of cooking, add your broccolli flowers to cook in the water with your pasta. Drain your pasta and broccolli flowers, reserving a little of the liquid.
In the mean time, place a frying pan on the heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Add your garlic and stir constantly to avoid burning. Add the chopped broccolli stalks and chilli flakes and continue to stir. You can add a little of your pasta water to the frying pan if you like to loosen the sauce and to assist with the cooking of the stalks. When your stalks are cooked, add the pasta and brocolli flowers and gently stir to combine. Add your melting cheese and half the parmesan and stir through to melt. Add a little of the left over hot cooking water if you need to loosen it a little. Add the lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper and then place on a large platter for all to share and top with the remaining parmesan and herbs.
You may note the girls added an egg to their pasta dish on the video. We haven’t included it in the recipe here but feel free to add it at home – delicious both ways. Enjoy!