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This Sicilian pasta and broccoli recipe is one my mom made a lot when I was a kid. She’d tell us how, when she was growing up, her family was poor. So, they ate this meal weekly, because it was inexpensive. Also, it’s typically a meatless dish. However, the first time I prepared this for my own family, my husband complained about the evident lack of protein. So, I have since added ground beef. And although it changes the original somewhat, it makes for an excellent meal.
There are a number of other Sicilian pasta and broccoli recipes to be found on the internet. But, most of them are missing the tomatoes that are in this one. Or they add pine nuts. Though a lot of them were also meatless. But whichever way you prefer, I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think;.
Ingredients for Sicilian Pasta and Broccoli:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 12 oz broccoli florets, washed
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans whole tomatoes, pulsed or diced in food processor with 2 cans of water
- 12 oz elbow macaroni
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided (you can use extra virgin olive oil, butter, or any kind of oil you choose; I use light olive oil for health reasons)
- 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp basil, divided
- 1 tbsp oregano, divided
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp pepper, divided
- Shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
Instructions for Sicilian Pasta and Broccoli:
- Put 2 tbsp olive oil in 4.5 quart saucepan, heat over medium heat, and add ground beef, breaking up with a non-stick cooking spoon.
- While the ground beef is cooking, add 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic, 1/2 tbsp basil, 1/2 tbsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper, and stir till combined. And then stir occasionally.
- Cook 12 oz of elbow macaroni according to directions, but don’t drain water completely. You might need to add some of it to broccoli and beef mixture.
- When ground beef is browned, drain fat and set aside. In the same saucepan, on medium heat, add last 2 tbsp of olive oil, broccoli florets, remaining basil, oregano, 1 tbsp garlic powder, remaining 1 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper, tomatoes, 2 cans of water, and stir till combined, cooking ~ 6-8 minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the broccoli mixture and stir till well combined.
- With a slotted spoon, add the elbow macaroni to the mixture, adding some pasta water if needed. And stir till all combined.
- Serve and top with your favorite Italian cheese. Enjoy!