I had a wonderful weekend because I got to spend it with my youngest son – just the two us!  With my husband out of town on a camping trip, my oldest on a youth retreat and yucky weather on the way, Hunter and I did lot’s of things we both love to do.  We shopped a little, decorated the house for Christmas, watched a couple of funny movies and cooked together.  When it was time for dinner, we made a short list of some of our favorite things, went “shopping” in the pantry and fridge and came up with a delicious pasta dish!  It’s based on Pasta De Oilio but with a few extras like broccoli and lemons.  It’s creamy, packed with flavor, requires only one pot and can be served in less than 20 minutes.
This one’s a keeper…thanks, son!
Penne with Broccoli & Parmesan
Penne with Broccoli and Parmesan
Kosher salt
1 pound penne pasta
2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1/3 cup good olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
4-5 slices of lemon


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of salt to pot.  Add pasta and cook according to directions on package.
  • 2 minutes before pasta is done, add broccoli to pot and continue cooking.
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta.
  • While pasta is draining, heat olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta – I use the same pot as I cooked the pasta and broccoli in.
  • Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn a light gold color being careful not to burn.
  • Add red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Gently pour pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced by about 1/3.
  • Add pasta and broccoli to the garlic sauce and toss.
  • Add in lemon slices and lightly toss.
  • Take pot off heat and add Parmesan, mixing cheese into the pasta. Allow pasta to rest off the heat for about 5 minutes for sauce to be absorbed.
  • Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan.

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