Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cappicola

One of my favorite go-to meals is a quick pasta with broccoli and either cappicola or prosciutto. Cappicola is a hot italian ham, not too terribly spicy but certainly with kick that flavors the whole dish. Available from the deli counter, it's usually less expensive than prosciutto and easy to keep a quarter-pound in the freezer. I prefer to buy it thick-sliced.

You could make this without the pasta and double the vegetables for a wonderful side dish, omit the ham for a vegetarian option, or substitute the broccoli for another veggie that you prefer. Escarole and spinach are both delicious prepared this way.

Added bonus: this can be made using one pot!

Pasta with Broccoli and Cappicola
serves 4

1/2 pound thin spaghetti or pasta of choice
olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced vertically
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound (half bag) frozen broccoli florets
grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
squirt of fresh lemon juice, about 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
1/4 pound thick-sliced cappicola ham, coarsely chopped

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta into a colander and return pot to stove over medium flame.

Pour some olive oil to pot and swirl to coat the bottom; add onions and saute until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli and reserved 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, until broccoli is warmed through.

Stir in drained spaghetti and turn to coat. Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese. Taste to see how salty it is, then season to taste with salt and pepper. (Depending on whether or not you salted your pasta cooking water you may not want to add salt at all. I found that with the salted water, parmesan cheese, then adding the ham, it was just right without added salt.)

Finish with a squirt of fresh lemon juice (I think this adds a brightness to the pasta), add chopped cappicola ham; give it all one last toss and plate with an additional sprinkle of parmesan cheese.


Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Italian deli meats are just wonderful and Cappicola and Prosciutto are so good. I really like your recipe. I can't wait to try it. I often eat pasta with just a dash of olive oil and lemon just like the Italians do too.

Amanda said...

Thanks, Joy. I can't say that I've tried just olive oil & lemon on pasta, but I do like to add a squeeze of lemon (and sometimes zest) to simple sauces such as this one. That bit of acidity is so perfect with pasta.

If you do try my recipe, let me know how you like it.

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