One of the many things I love about the States (well particularly California!) is that you have choices! Quinoa pasta is not an option in Australia, so whenever I am here, I stock up on this amazing food! As you all know, I LOVE PASTA!!!! As Sofia Loren once said "Everything you see I owe to spaghetti". Love that! And having an option that is gluten free is amazing. This is one of my mother's recipes but I've spruced it up with roasted pine nuts, which just lifts this simple dish to the next level.
What you need;
8oz (250g) Quinoa Spaghetti
2 heads of broccoli
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic
1 small chili
1/2 cup pine nuts
Parmesan cheese or Nutritional yeast for vegan option
salt and pepper to taste
Start by placing a big pot of salted water on the stove, with heat on high and lid on, so the water can reach boiling point by the time prep is over. Chop the garlic and chilli into tiny pieces. Cut the broccoli into florets placing them into an awaiting colander and rinse under running water.
The water should be at boiling point and ready to throw in the pasta. Follow directions on the pack, making sure you reach an al dente texture and not over!!!! Nothing worse than soggy pasta!!!!
Toast the pine nuts in a dry fry pan (no oil) until golden in colour, tossing frequently. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly!!! Set aside.
Add a little oil to another pot and saute the garlic and chili until fragrant. Add the broccoli florets and 1/2 cup of water. Be careful not to splash it in as you may burn yourself! Stir it all through and place a lid on it. Allow it to simmer on a low heat until the broccoli is well cooked, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to your liking at any stage. Keep an eye on it as it's cooking, making sure it doesn't dry out too much. Add more water if it does, but only a small amount at a time. You certainly don't want the broccoli to swim in it!
Your broccoli should look like this picture. A little mushy, but still holding shape when cooked.
Look at this picture of beautiful golden heaven!!!!! Your pasta should be ready by the time the broccoli is ready. If not, just set the broccoli aside, off the heat until the pasta is done. Strain the spaghetti and then place back into the pot you used to cook it in. Add the broccoli and toss gently.
To serve, use tongs. I've put this picture in to show you how I do it. With one hand holding the plate and the other holding the spaghetti, turn the plate around as you slowly let go of your grip on the spaghetti. The effect will be a lovely 'pile' of spaghetti as seen in the picture at the beginning of this post. Add the pine nuts to the individual plates and serve with Parmesan or nutritional yeast.
YUMMMMMMM!!!!! I'm outta here to buy some quinoa pasta to make this tonight!