Pasta with Broccoli

Sergio Guzzo-Primoli, a Roman artist who spent a week with me on his visit to NYC in the early '70s, gave me this fine recipe.  Actually, "gave" is not quite accurate; he stuck me with a $90 phone bill.  Nevertheless, it was worth it.  I have prepared this dish many times for many people and it has always proved a tremendous success.  I believe that even George Bush would like broccoli done this way.

10-12 oz. pasta (linguini or medium spaghetti)      lb. broccoli florets and small stems 
    cup extra virgin olive oil    1T. garlic, crushed or mashed with a mortar and pestle 

       2 T. Kosher salt     freshly ground black pepper

Bring six quarts of salted water to the boil in a covered eight-quart pot. Place the broccoli in a colander. Remove the lid from the pot and lower the broccoli into the water. Replace the lid and cook until done. (approx. 10 min.)

IMPORTANT: The lid must be lifted every 30 seconds or so for the first three to four min. This allows the foul gasses to escape. The same goes for all the cabbage family and also for asparagus.

When the broccoli is nearly done, simmer the garlic in olive oil in a large non-reactive skillet over the lowest heat. Do not allow garlic to color. Drain the broccoli well and add to the skillet. Mash it to a paste with a large fork. Cover, and let steam. Repeat this process, adding more oil if necessary, until it becomes a fine paste.  (approx. 20 min.)

Boil the pasta in the broccoli water until barely done. Drain well and add it to the broccoli mixture. Toss and serve with a sprinkle of ground pepper. No cheese, please! (Serves 4)