2 tbsp salt
1/2 head broccoli (or more if you love broccoli)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2-1 tsp chili flakes
1/4 cup walnuts
1 cup whole grain penne (farro is the best if you can find it)
additional salt and pepper, to taste
1. Fill 4-quart pot with water, leaving about 1-inch of space at the top, and put on the stove to boil on high. While the water is coming to a boil prepare the broccoli.
2. Wash broccoli and cut off the tough bottom part of the stem. Using a peeler, peel the outer layer of the stalk (this will make sure you don’t have any tough stringy broccoli). Cut the florets from the stalk, trying to get a consistent size. Cut the stalk into quarters and dice.
3. When the water boils, add the salt and all of the broccoli pieces. Cook the broccoli for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, you want the broccoli to still be crisp. When done, remove the broccoli to a colander using a slotted spoon to drain. Shake colander to remove excess water and let the broccoli sit for a few minutes. The drier it is, the better your sauté will be.
4. While the broccoli is resting peel and then halve, slice, or chop the garlic, depending on how much garlic flavor you want in the final product (see step 7). Set aside.
5. Cook the pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions.
6. While the pasta is cooking, heat a sauté pan with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chili flakes (if using) and wait for the oil to slightly bubble and heat up.
7. Add the broccoli and walnuts. Next, add your slivered or chopped garlic for maximum garlic flavor. If you want a subtle infusion add halved cloves to the oil before the broccoli (in step 6).
8. Cook for another 2 minutes or so, flipping the broccoli to cook evenly.
9. Transfer the pasta from the water to the pan with the broccoli over medium heat. Toss, season with salt and pepper to taste, and then serve.
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