Tenderstem broccoli has been in supermarket shelves of my local supermarket for quite sometime now but it's only recently that I got to try it. It wasn't hard to convince me since I like the regular broccoli. This tenderstem is a cross between Chinese kale and broccoli. Its appearance is similar to the Chinese gai lan with a slender and tender stem and a darker colouring than broccoli.
October's recipe in our BBC GoodFood calendar has this pasta recipe using the tenderstem. I've been eyeing it for a full month before I organized all the ingredients. And stupid me, even when I was mixing the herbs and pine nuts, did not realise I was making a rough pesto. Duh!
This dish is a welcome change to our usual spag bol, meatballs, or baked pasta that we have week in-week out. I must say it's quite healthy, too, what with those dark green tenderstem, herbs, and pine nuts.
1 garlic clove - finely chopped
25 g toasted pine nuts - chopped
1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
25 g parmesan - coarsely grated
200 g tenderstem broccoli
100 g Chanterelle or chestnut or other wild mushrooms - sliced
2 slices Parma ham or streaky bacon - cut in long strips
175 g spaghetti
- Chop finely half of the tenderstem broccoli and slice the rest in half diagonally.
- Drop the chopped tenderstem in a pan of boiling water, cook for 2 minutes. Drain and put into a bowl.
- Add in the parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and parsley into the cooked tenderstem.
- Drizzle 3 Tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions but 3-4 minutes before the end of cooking time add in the sliced tenderstem.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the parma ham or bacon then drain on some paper towels.
- Add mushrooms to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Season with pepper.
- Drain the spaghetti and sliced tenderstem in a colander. Return to the pot and toss with tenderstem pesto and and the mushrooms.
- Serve onto warmed bowls topped with the crisp parma ham or bacon.