I love to browse the produce section and see all the amazing varieties of produce available. Now, in addition to regular broccoli, there is a variety called broccolini, or broccolette, depending on the grower. This is similar in taste to broccoli, but with smaller florets and longer, thinner stalks. It’s a cross between broccoli and kai-lan, Chinese broccoli (not to be confused with broccoli rabe, which is a different plant). Broccolini is sweet, delicate and delicious. Instead of boiling it, I roast it in the oven with the garlic for just under 10 minutes- it comes out slightly crisp and bright green.

I serve this with a really great pasta that we prefer to the whole wheat pastas on the market. It’s Vitaspelt Organic Spelt Pasta, and it’s usually sold in the health food section of the grocery store. It has a lighter taste and texture than other whole grain pastas, and it’s high in vitamin B2, niacin, manganese, thiamin,  copper, and magnesium. Because spelt is highly water soluble, these nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. Many people with digestive issues prefer spelt because the combination of high fiber and low, fragile gluten content make this grain much easier to digest than common wheat. Also, spelt contains special carbohydrates (called Mucopolysaccharides, an ugly sounding name, so we will just refer to them as “special” carbohydrates) which possess anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to longevity by supporting our bones, joints, and cartilage. And that is today’s lesson on spelt.

Pasta with Broccolini

  • 2 bunches broccolini
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pound of spaghetti, linguini or fettucini
  • salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and heat a pot of water (on high) for the pasta.
  2. Trim the stems of the broccolini (I cut off about an inch) and put in a roasting pan with the chopped garlic. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, the crushed red pepper, and the juice from half the lemon. Roast for 8-10 minutes.
  3. While broccolini is roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, then add 2 tbsp olive oil, the juice from the other half of the lemon, and salt.
  4. Divide the pasta onto plates and top with broccolini.