Ziti & Broccoli

Recently, a few of us were discussing what we would grab in a fire, after of course the obvious: loved ones, pets, etc.  I sat for a few seconds and someone said ‘Lesley would grab her recipe albums’.  I couldn’t deny it.

You see, since I was very young, my mother has been collecting recipes.  She has more albums than I can count.  What’s interesting, is she also keeps the ones she doesn’t like.  She likes to rate them, comment on them, and, over the years, my sister and I did also.  In fact, there’s one recipe that my sister, mother, and I all commented on, even though my sister is 14 years older than me, once it was my turn, I had to have a say.  You will see comments like “made October 14, 1997. Very Good, but a lot of work”, or “made May 11, 2003. Wouldn’t make again.” or my favorite, a simple “yucky”.  Not sure why she keeps recipes of things she didn’t enjoy, perhaps so she doesn’t make the same mistake twice?

When I moved out, I realized that I had seen my mother cook for years, and had made a thing or two myself, but I had not begun my collection of recipes.  So I started then and there.  First I went through her books and photocopied all the ones I grew up loving.  I practiced them and made them my own.  Then I started branching out.

But there are some recipes that are near and dear to my heart.  This recipe is one of them.  You may think it’s too simple, not cheesy or saucy enough, but I won’t care.  I am definite that this recipe is the reason I like broccoli, and it solidifies my loyalty to pasta.

What was my writing at the top of this 30 year old recipe? “My fav”.

Maybe it will be yours.


  • 1 medium size head broccoli
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TAB butter
  • 1/2 cup Reggiano or Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 250 grams ziti or other large tubular pasta
  • salt and pepper


Cut stems off broccoli and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Chop parsley and garlic together.  Steam broccoli in a little water until fork tender, set aside.  Combine olive olive, butter, parsley, and garlic in a small skillet.  Warm for a few minutes but do not cook or burn.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Combine pasta, broccoli, and oil mixture together, mixing well.  Add cheese, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

*Note: you could also save a little cooking water if you like and toss it along with everything in the pot if you like.  

Serves 4



2 thoughts on “Ziti & Broccoli

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