I’ve been meaning to start posting some super quick family dinner ideas for a while. What I’m talking about here are meals you can easily make on a night that includes back-to-back soccer and baseball practices, yet another emergency trip to Petco, a math test prep, a social studies project — and maybe even a twilight bike ride. Since it’s suddenly 75 degrees and baseball-slash-soccer-slash-tennis season, now seems like a good time to start.
I like to have a few of these incredibly easy meals in my back pocket for weeks when I know it’s going to be a stretch even eating together, let alone cooking. These are actually more suggestions than recipes, but I’ve included the how-to below just to make life easier. There is nothing revolutionary about pasta with broccoli of course, but this is all cooked together in one pot and requires very little work beyond cutting up the broccoli. Plus, the finished product is really pretty and satisfying and, in my house at least, universally loved.
1 package thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta (If you’re gluten free, try Schar; it’s my favorite so far.)
1 large head of organic broccoli
1 tsp. olive oil
Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded
Salt & pepper
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. While it’s heating up, rinse the broccoli and cut into florets. Once the water boils, toss in the pasta. If you’re using thin spaghetti, wait 2-3 minutes before adding the broccoli; if you’re using angel hair, you can add it at the same time. (If you’re using gluten-free spaghetti, it takes 11 minutes to cook, so add the broccoli after 5 minutes.) Boil until pasta is al dente and drain. Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, and salt & pepper. If you happen to have any leftover grilled chicken breasts lying around, slice them and serve on the side. Either way — especially since cleanup involves clearing the plates and rinsing a stock pot — no one’s going to complain about this dinner.