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Flavorful, rustic, hearty pasta dish

Broccoli and cauliflower with rigatoni pasta make a satisfying meal. photo by Virginia O. McCoy.

October 11, 2012
With a refrigerator full of just picked Michigan vegetables, I plucked florets from broccoli and caulifl ower and cooked them with some rigatoni pasta. Onion, garlic and grated Parmesan round out this rustic pasta dish that is hearty, flavorful and quite satisfying. Really.

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Cauliflower

1 lb. rigatoni pasta

5 cups broccoli fl orets

5 cups caulifl ower fl orets

1 large onion, halved

and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons extra

virgin olive oil

4 to 5 garlic cloves,

thinly sliced

cup grated

Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

crushed red pepper to


1 handful fresh torn

basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the cauliflower in the water and cook for 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until just beginning to brown. Turn off heat if onion is done before the cauliflower. Remove the cauliflower from the boiling water and add it to the skillet along with the garlic. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat.

Place the pasta in the boiling water and cook according to directions, add the broccoli to the pot with 5 minutes cooking time left.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain the rigatoni and the broccoli and add it to the skillet, carefully tossing the pasta with all of the vegetables,

over medium heat. Stir in the reserved pasta water along with the Parmesan and the crushed red pepper.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving toss in the fresh torn basil.

This yummy pasta will leave you saying "meat who?"

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