Spaghetti with Broccoli and Tomato Sauce

For years I would try everything to get broccoli and other green vegetables into my husband and daughters. This was one of the more successful attempts, as they all like Italian flavors and pasta. As broccolini has become more popular in the market, I've substituted broccolini for the harsher flavor of the broccoli. You can either serve the pasta, the sauce and the vegetables separately, arranged as directed below, or you can toss them all together in the pasta pot after draining the pasta. The flavor is more intense when they are all mixed together, but it looks prettier when the sauce is arranged in a circle around the broccoli.


Boil about 1 quart of salted water for the spaghetti. Put broccoli in a microwave proof bowl. Heat olive oil until very hot. Cook garlic quickly until just barely brown. Remove garlic quickly to bowl containing broccoli. Cover broccoli with plastic wrap, and cook until just fork tender in microwave. Begin cooking the spaghetti. Meanwhile, in pot with olive oil, put remaining ingredients except for Parmesan and hot pepper. Gently simmer the sauce while the broccoli is cooking and the spaghetti is cooking. Drain spaghetti. On each plate, place portion of spaghetti, broccoli in center, and sauce around the edge of spaghetti. Pass parmesan and optional hot pepper. Serves 4.
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