Italian, Pasta, Recipe, The Daily Blog, Vegetarian

Some Things Just Go

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Some things just don’t go together.

High school freshmen and group work.

Taking a daytime allergy pill instead of a Benedryl right before going to bed.

Snowy days and spring flowers.

Some things just can’t not be together.

Double negatives.

A German Shepherd and a tennis ball.

White slap watches and deck shoes.

Teachers and happy hour.

Potato chips and chocolate.

Broccoli and cheese.

Pasta and cream sauce.

Me and cheese. Me and cream sauce. Me and broccoli.

Jason and the camera’s special effects.

Jason was the man with the camera on this particular evening. He was playing around with the camera while I started dinner, so I asked him to take the photos for me so that I wouldn’t have to keep taking the camera from him. He was a willing photographer. It was really fun to have him snapping the photos while I just cooked and recorded the recipe. As such, there are more photos of the process and photos with different angles than I usually go for.I think I’ll be utilizing his photog skills more often in the future.

Alfredo sauce:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs. olive oil

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3/8 cup of all-purpose flour (7 tbs.)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half

2 cups milk (not skim)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

pinch crushed red pepper

pinch nutmeg


6 cups broccoli, washed and trimmed

1 pound whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)

kosher salt


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water reaches boiling, salt the water, the add in the pasta. Allow to boil until al dente (with a bite), around 6-8 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and butter. Heat until butter is almost melted, then add minced garlic.

Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and softened, then slowly, in increments, add the flour. Whisk well after each flour addition so that all flour is fully incorporated before continuing.

This will create a thick slurry which will allow your sauce to be thick without the use of too much cheese or cream. Slowly pour in cream and milk,  whisking constantly to combine. Allow to heat, but don’t allow it boil. Once thickened, whisk in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and red pepper.

Whisk in the parmesan cheese, then taste the sauce to check the seasoning. Adjust as needed. At this point, the sauce should be flavorful and thick enough to coat a spoon and hold its line without running off.

While sauce cooks, steam your broccoli. My favorite way to steam broccoli is in the microwave; it is so quick and easy. Feel free to steam on the stovetop, if that’s more your style. To microwave steam, pour about 2 inches of water into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add broccoli. Top with a microwave-safe plate or lid. I use my Pyrex pie pan because it fits perfectly into the Pyrex glass bowl.

Microwave on high for about 2 minutes, until broccoli is a vibrant green and is tender, yet still crisp, to the bite. Drain broccoli, then pour 3/4 of it out onto a cutting board. Roughly chop.

Mix steamed broccoli – chopped and whole – with the alfredo sauce.

Scoop pasta into individual serving bowls, then ladle sauce on top. Serve with extra parmesan cheese for sprinkling, if you like.