Broccoli & Blue Cheese Pasta

We’re going for light (ish) and quick dinners around here lately. An easy one that I love to throw together is this pasta dish with broccoli and blue cheese. I originally got this from my mom, and it’s a great weeknight dinner. I really like this, too, because it dirties only a few bowls: a pasta pot, a colander, and a mixing bowl. And I suppose you could eliminate the mixing bowl and use the emptied pasta pot if you really wanted to cut down.

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In the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, you are done, and cooking the broccoli in the pasta water makes it even easier.

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 t crushed red pepper

1 T olive oil

1/4 c butter

4 oz crumbled blue cheese (don’t be afraid to be generous here, more cheese just makes for a creamier sauce – I probably end up using 6-8 oz)

2 T grated parmesan cheese

freshly ground black pepper

3/4 lb bite sized broccoli florets

12 oz penne

Combine garlic, red pepper, olive oil, butter, blue cheese, parmesan cheese and pepper in large mixing bowl. Set aside to warm. [I also set the mixing bowl on top of the boiling pot of pasta to help melt the butter, but only for a minute at a time, the pasta water will boil over]

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water. Add broccoli when there is about 5 minutes left on the pasta cooking time. Drain pasta and broccoli. Immediately add to sauce in bowl and toss. Serve with extra parmesan.

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