You're wondering this: What the heck is double broccoli? We're talking about broccoli and broccoli raab. I bought both at the farmers' market because when things start showing up for the first time, that's what you do. And when you have two confirmed broccoli lovers for children, that's also what you do. And so, you get to work on making them delicious. As any market devotee may know, when you're buying good, fresh, local stuff, you don't need to do a whole hell of a lot to turn that into a reality.
A quick note about the scapes and scallions: In this application and most of my regular market cooking, I utilize most of these items. For scapes, you want to slice them pretty thin; think of them as a garlic substitute here. And for scallions, I only slice off a tiny bit of the bottom, where the roots are/were (depending on what they look like when you buy them), and the top quarter, especially if the tips are looking raggy. I'm a believer in utilizing as much of an item as possible. It's less wasteful and you get a little bit more of complexity of flavor from each individual foods when you use them this way, in season.
- 12 ounces of spaghetti or other long pasta
- 1-2 T unsalted organic local butter
- 3 garlic scapes, sliced thin
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
- 1-2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets (about 4-5 cups)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large bunch of broccoli raab, chopped into one-inch pieces (about 4-5 cups)
- 1-2 heads of broccoli, chopped (about 4-5 cups)
- Zest and juice of one lemon, separated
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of pasta water
Bring a large stock pot filled with salty water to boil over medium-high heat. It will likely be up to boil while you cook up the veggies.
Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the scapes and scallions for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften a little bit (the scapes won't totally soften). Add the chopped broccoli and 1/2 cup water and cover, steaming the broccoli for a couple of minutes until it brightens in color and the water has mostly cooked off. Remove the lid and add the broccoli raab and lemon zest. Stir ingredients together and turn off the heat.
In a medium bowl, stir together the lemon juice, ricotta, olive oil, which you've salted and peppered with the good stuff.
Before you drain the pasta, scoop out 1/2 cup of the hot starchy water. Stir a little bit of water into the ricotta mix to create a sauce. Add the pasta and ricotta mix to the pot with the veggies. Turn the heat back on to medium low and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to bring it together. If the ricotta seems too thick, add a little bit more of the pasta water.
Yield: 4-6 as a main course.