I had never heard of broccolini until a few weeks ago.
What is this strange vegetable? Baby broccoli? An asparagus-broccoli crossover? Some mutant Monsanto Frankenstein?!?
Well, the long and short of it is—it is none of the above. Apparently it’s a hybrid of broccoli to something called Kai-lan, which is the Cantonese version of Kale or broccoli.
Yeah, I’m confused by that description too. However, broccolini is amazing.
It’s just slightly sweeter than broccoli, and the stalks are textured like Asparagus. Mmmm mmmm. Everybody loves asparagus.
I found this recipe in a recent edition of Food Network Magazine, and tweaked it a bit. It’s a great nosh for a light lunch or a meatless Monday treat. The mozzarella pearls are just the right amount of cheese—and I can never say no to Parmesan. Load a bowl up and dress it to your liking; this recipe is a fairly flexible one.
- 12 oz. long fusilli pasta
- 1/2 lb. broccolini, trimmed & roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 jalapeños, deseeded & diced
- 1 (15.5 oz) can butter beans, drained & rinsed
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 8 oz. Mozzarella Pearls
- Olive oil & white pepper, for serving
2. In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add jalapeños, sauté 3-4 minutes until soft. Add beans, 1/2 tsp. salt & dash of white pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans start to crisp, about another 3-4 minutes.
3. Add pasta and broccolini to the skillet along with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Add Parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring until pasta is well coated, adding more of the reserved pasta water if needed. Season with salt & white pepper.