And, why most vegetable pastas aren’t very good
By Chef John from Food Wishes Video RecipesToday's recipe video is a very simple broccoli "alia olia," but it's also a good example of the proper way to use vegetables in pasta. I almost never order veggie pasta in a restaurant. The main reason is that the vegetables are almost never cooked properly, or I should say prepped properly. Take this broccoli pasta as an example. In a restaurant the same ingredients would be used, but all broccoli pieces would be added at the same time. So, by the time the stems were tender the tops would be mush, or even worse, the tops would be perfect and the stems hard and crunchy.
You have to have a game plan when doing a vegetable pasta. If you are using vegetables that have different cooking times, you can't add them all at the same time, yet that's what most people do. One strategy is to cut the longer cooking veggies smaller and leave the more tender veggies larger, so they all cook at about the same time. Another trick is to precook the denser vegetables, like carrots, before combining them with less dense things like squash.
In this pasta, I separate the tops and stems of the broccoli. I basically make a sauce with the diced (and much tougher) stem pieces, and the tender flowers at the end so I get a nice uniform doneness. Anyway, all that being said, this is a delicious way to eat that broccoli all those doctors' keeps talking about. By the way, if you're a Chef that remembers the "garnish the edge of the plate" era (explained in clip), I'd love to get a comment from you. What we're we thinking? Enjoy!