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The Perfect Side Dish: Fresh Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

I love side dishes. They add extra color – and flavor – to every meal. Obviously. What I don’t love is side dishes that take a million years too long to prepare. Which is why I love this cheesy broccoli pasta! Now don’t confuse this with the processed cheesy broccoli stuff. This is all about the fresh cheese. The best part about this dish? Pretty much everything is interchangeable with whatever you have on hand – from the type of pasta (or you could use rice!) to the veggie to the cheese. Choose your favorite. Or cook like I do – by using anything and everything you come across as you go.

Boil your favorite pasta to your liking – mine is rooootini! I like the way it rolls off the tongue – when you SAY it, not when you EAT it. Duh. Drain and return to the pot you cooked it in.

Add a few scoops of softened butter. I like the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” stuff…because it’s what we get at Sam’s Club. But whatever you usually use will do!

Add broccoli to your liking. I like a lot of veggies in my pasta, so I add about two steamer bags (the flash frozen stuff that you steam in the microwave – but if you’re willing to steam it fresh, you go for it! I just don’t like the way that makes my house smells.) per pound of pasta.

Add some pepper and a few shakes of sea salt – it’s better for you than regular salt! Although I can’t really say that we don’t use both – because we do. The hubs is a bit of a salt fiend – he literally carries salt shakers (and sometimes the actual canisters of salt) around the house with him. So I end up using whatever happens to be left in my pantry at the time that I’m cooking.

Stir. And start adding cheese – by the handful. Don’t feel any cheese guilt. It’s dairy – and I know you’ve seen the commercials – people who eat more dairy maintain their ideal weight more easily. Aka: lots of cheese is a good thing. And also a delicious thing.

Keep adding that cheese until you have a nice layer on top of the broccoli and pasta. Stir it all together.

Serve – this week we had it as a side dish to some amazing parmesan crusted chicken. With another side of Pinot Grigio. Unfortunately I’m not anywhere near what one would call a wine snob. I couldn’t even tell you what name was on the label of the bottle this was poured from. What I can tell you is that we need a close up of that pasta.

Mmmmmm. Savor it.

Fresh Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

What you’ll need:

1 lb of your fave pasta
6 TBSP butter
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 packs steamed broccoli
3/4 cup of your fave shredded cheese

1. Cook the pasta to your liking. Drain and return to pot.
2. Add butter, let sit until butter melts. Don’t stir too much – you don’t want the pasta to get mushy.
3. Add salt, pepper and broccoli. Stir until well mied.
4. Cover with cheese. Stir.
5. Serve.
6. Enjoy!

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