I hate broccoli. There, I said it. I've tried it so many ways and there's just always been something about those little trees I can't get past. This recipe changed my mind. Eliminating the funky texture by incorporating them into a creamy sauce, you could almost call this a 'hidden veg' dish, if it didn't give the sauce such a lovely green colour!
After the idea of making the fearful vegetable into a creamy sauce, I started thinking about other creamy dishes. Carbonara came to mind and I decided I needed something savory and smoky to offset the richness of the sauce, inspired by bacon or pancetta. But I wanted it to be lighter, more garden-fresh. Enter my never ending supply of courgettes, seasoned and crisped for a gorgeous flavour and texture contrast.
Creamy Broccoli & Smoky Courgette Rigatoni
1 small courgette (zucchini), sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 small head of broccoli, florets broken and stem chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablepoons tahini
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 200c (390f).
On a lined baking dish or sheet, toss the courgette with a teaspoon of the oil, the paprika, soy sauce and maple syrup.
Roast until browned - around 20 minutes - and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in boiling water until bright green - 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain and add to the jug of a bullet blender.
Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
While the pasta cooks, add all of the remaining ingredients except the oil to the blender with ⅓ cup water.
Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed.
Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss in a pan with the sauce and courgettes until warmed through.
Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining oil and serve.