My dear old Italian mother-in-law grew up in hard times. She had many pasta and *fill in the blank* dishes that were not the typical tomato sauce. This was one of my favorites.
Only 4 ingredients yet total yum. This is a very satisfying, cheap, good for you, easy to prepare, vegetarian meal.
pasta - angel hair, about 1/2 pound
broccoli - about 2 large crowns
olive oil - about 1/4 cup
ground black pepper - about 1 tablespoon
Chop the broccoli florets and place in enough boiling water to just cover. Chop all stem parts finely (I use a food processor), add some olive oil and a lot of pepper. Cook until soft (this is not the al dente part of the dish). Break angel hair pasta into thirds and cook in boiling water (this is the al dente part of the dish). Reserve some of the pasta water. Mix pasta, broccoli and as much pasta water as desired. Serve in a bowl as a main dish. Unless you are an Italian grandmother who is finally able to fill the table as much as you wish. In that case, serve it as a first course, followed by grilled hotdogs and hamburgers and potatoes fried with onions and peppers...and 2 or 3 desserts.