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Healthy Pasta and Broccoli with Parmesan Cheese has a light olive oil and garlic dressing. It makes a flavorful and filling side dish along with chicken or fish.
When eating healthy, the great thing is nothing is really off limits. That includes carbohydrates like pasta.
The key to keeping your diet healthy is the limit the portion. Enjoy about a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or in the case of this Pasta and Broccoli, a cup.
This portion works with the Mediterranean plate where you include 1/4 of the plate with protein or roughly about 4-5 ounces. Fill 1/4 of the plate with a starchy vegetable or pasta or rice, and then 1/2 your plate with a leafy green salad or lower carbohydrate vegetable such as broccoli.
Including lots of plant based food provides the fiber your body needs to manage the carbohydrates.
Learn more about eating healthy, but reading my post Mediterranean Diet Basics.
Ingredients for Pasta and Broccoli
This recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients you have in your pantry and fridge.
One head of broccoli chopped into florets.
Pasta, I used a had rolled variety but any form will work.
Garlic, 1-2 cloves either minced, or sliced.
Grated parmesan cheese.
Spices including salt and cayenne pepper.
You will want to save a 1/2 cup of the liquid the pasta cooked in or add 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth to the broccoli as it sautés. That's it. Super simple.
How to Prepare Pasta and Broccoli
Cook your pasta per package directions. Just water, enough to completely cover the pasta and 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt. Boil for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked but has a firm chewy bite.
Nothing worse that overcooked pasta that is limp and mushy.
While pasta is boiling. Add olive oil to a frying pan, add chopped broccoli. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until the broccoli starts to brown.
Add 1/2 cup of cooking liquid or 1/2 cup broth. This will add moisture so the broccoli completely cooks. Most of the moisture will evaporate or be absorbed by the pasta.
Add garlic and continue to stir over medium low heat.
Add pasta and continue to sauté for 5-10 minutes until the broccoli is fork-tender.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well. Add a few pinches of parmesan cheese prior to serving.
Serve This Dish With
This pasta side dish works great with poultry or fish. You might like my recipe for Oven-Baked Turkey Breast or Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts.
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