Little Italy in 30 Minutes

Little italy on your plate in under 30 minutes. I threw this together this evening, and its delicious and so easy to create. Timing is everything, so follow the instructions carefully and it will all come together at the same time. To cook this for two adults, you will need:

  • 200g spaghetti
  • broccoli florets cut into 15mm wide pieces (roughly half a head of broccoli)
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves (5 crushed, 1 sliced)
  • 1 baguette cut into 30mm wide pieces
  • olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tsp crushed chillies
  • salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • grated parmesan cheese

Half fill a large pan with water, add a good pinch of salt, and turn the heat high. Whilst waiting for the water to boil, you need to prepare everything else.

In a small sauté pan (frying pan with a lid), put the asparagus in the middle, and the cherry tomatoes either side. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place 5g of butter on top of the asparagus and place the lid on the pan. In a medium frying pan, place the 5 crushed garlic cloves, 25g of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Chop the remaining garlic clove, and cut the broccoli into small pieces (roughly 15mm wide and 30-40mm long).

When the water is boiling, turn on the hob under the other two pans. The pan with the asparagus and tomatoes needs to be on a medium heat, the pan with the garlic and butter needs to be on a low heat. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the boiling water.

Mix the melted butter and crushed garlic in the large frying pan, and place the pieces of cut baguette in the butter, cut side down. Place a colander or sieve over a bowl, you need to catch some of the water when you drain the spaghetti.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, empty the pan into the colander. Whilst the pasta is draining, turn the pieces of garlic bread so the other cut side is now sat in the garlic butter. In the empty spaghetti pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, the chopped garlic, crushed chillies and roughly 1 cup of the hot spaghetti water you caught in the bowl and place the pan back on the hob on a high setting. Once the water is boiling again, add the broccoli and lemon juice and cover with a lid. after 3 minutes, whilst holding the lid down, give the broccoli pan a shake and then add the spaghetti. Drizzle with olive oil, reapply the lid and shake again to mix everything together.

Now its ready to serve. Put the asparagus on the plate, and top with the cooked cherry tomatoes. Once everything is on the plates, sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese. A great taste of Italy in under half an hour.