how to cook Italian basic recipe with pasta

  • Broccoli (1 pound)
  • 2 large leeks
  • Pasta—a short variety like bow tie, penne, orecchiette (just over ½ pound)
  • Parmesan, Grana, or Pecorino cheese (other cheese, like brie and ricotta, are also options)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse cooking salt
  • Water (2 glasses for the vegetables, 1 liter for pasta)

  1. Wash the leeks thoroughly, and cut away the outside layer of each. Also remove their tops and bottoms (root). Slice the remainder into thin rounds. Wash and cut broccoli, discarding the thick stem. Separate the broccoli tops from their bases, slicing the bottoms into rounds to ensure that all broccoli pieces cook at the same rate.
  2. Cover the bottom of a wide, flat pot with olive oil, and place over high heat. Add the leeks immediately, along with a splash of water. Moments later, add broccoli, another glass of water, and a teaspoon of coarse salt. Cover and let cook. After five minutes, check the vegetables to ensure that they don’t burn, adding additional water if necessary. Total cooking time should be approximately ten minutes. Remove the pot from heat when all vegetables are tender.
  3. In a separate pot, bring water for the pasta to a boil, adding two teaspoons of coarse salt. The water level must be high enough to completely cover the pasta—it is better to overestimate than underestimate. When the water has boiled, add the pasta and allow it to continue boiling, uncovered, for the time indicated on the package.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain it immediately. Transfer the pasta to the pot containing vegetables (reheat if necessary together). Add olive oil and cheese to taste, then mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!
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