Trottole with Broccoli and Broccoli Greens

Simple is good. When I found that I had more broccoli and broccoli greens than I could handle (from my Week 7 share), I decided that I couldn't go wrong with cooking all those broccoli parts in a simple pasta dish using dry trottole noodles that I had in my pantry. (It never hurts to have a pantry stocked with dry noodles.)

I'm terrible at writing recipes because I never remember to write down measurements and how long it takes me to do anything, but here's a rundown of my "process," which I'm sure will change the next time I try to make this:

As I brought a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, I removed the stems from the broccoli greens and roughly chopped the leaves into half-inch strips. I also cut down the heads of broccoli into "forkable"-sized florets. When the water finally came to a boil, I tossed all of the broccoli pieces into the pot and let everything boil for about five minutes -- just enough time to get the leaves and stalks tender.

While the broccoli was boiling, I took a couple of pieces of thick cut bacon and diced them into small pieces. In a separate skillet, I fried the bacon for a few minutes until it was crispy. Then I scooped out the bacon and put it on a plate covered with paper towels so that the fat could drain. Around the same time, I used a slotted spoon to pull out the broccoli and put all the pieces in a bowl with ice water. This stops the cooking process and helps keep the nutrients in the broccoli.  

I took the trottole pasta and boiled it in the salted broccoli water. Why waste the water, right? And as the trottole boiled, I sautéed a few cloves of minced garlic and a small onion that I thinly sliced in some of the leftover bacon fat.

When the garlic and onions became soft after a few minutes, I took the broccoli greens and florets and added them to the skillet. This softened the greens even more and added some flavor (bacon-y goodness) to the broccoli. And at this point, the trottele was perfectly al dente, so I dumped the pasta in a strainer and then I added the pasta to the mixture of greens, garlic, and onions. I drizzled just a little bit of extra virgin olive on top, and I tossed everything together. I added some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and I sprinkled and tossed in the crispy bacon. I served the pasta in bowls and grated Parmesan on top. È finito!

I'm a fan of easy weeknight dinners because I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. And something like this can feed four folks and be done in under 40 minutes, from prep to plate. Semplice e gustosa!