Thursday, June 12, 2008


I came across what I thought was broccolini at my local produce shop, but when I picked it up, saw that it was a mix between asparagus and broccoli called asparation. Always a sucker for the latest thing, I purchased it, not sure of how I would use it (as is often the case when confronted by new and/or yummy things at the store that were never on my list to begin with). When I got home and did my research I learned that in fact, asparation is just a brand name for broccolini. Fooled by the marketers yet again. Undeterred by my discovery, I set out to make something quick and hopefully healthy for dinner as the boyfriend is not over tonight.

After a quick glance around the cupboards, I decide on whole wheat pasta, with a quick tomato sauce. With the recent salmonella scare, I'm using whole-canned tomatoes. Rather than chopping them ahead of time, I prefer to add them whole and break them up with a wooden spoon as they start to break down. In my book, balsamic was created to go with tomatoes so I add a few splashes to get the flavor going. Once the sauce has sufficiently broken down and come together, I throw in the chopped asparation (aka broccolini) for a quick heat-through. Next time I might add a little roasted chicken breast to bulk it up a bit, but for tonight, this is perfect.

Whole Wheat Pasta & Quick Tomato Sauce
2 T Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
16 oz Canned Whole Tomatoes
4 T Balsamic (or to taste)
1 cup Rough Chopped Broccolini
1/4 Package Whole Wheat Pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat olive oil over low heat and add minced garlic. Let simmer just until fragrant. Add balsamic and whole tomatoes with their juices. Raise heat to medium and let simmer 10 - 15 minutes, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes every few minutes. Just before you're ready to drain the pasta, add the broccolini to the mix to heat through. This also is where you can add some salt to the sauce, but when using canned tomatoes, I find that it is plenty salty already. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in tomato sauce and enjoy.

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