What makes this recipe fantastic?  It’s a pasta dish, the kind you crave, yet it requires very little pasta to satisfy you.  The secret is the fibrous and nutrient-rich vegetables.  Broccoli and cauliflower fill you up in a crunchy, healthy guilt-free way, and you still enjoy all the pleasure of a rich pasta dinner.  I like to use flavored pasta for this dish, simply to add another taste sensation.  I also suggest trying the crushed Calabrian chiles, (usually found in oil in a jar).  The extra heat helps to curb hunger and makes it easier to eat less pasta.  Serves 1 or 2, and takes about 40 minutes start to finish, but it comes together quickly especially if you blanch the veg in advance.


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
2 cups of chopped broccoli, blanched
¼ head of chopped cauliflower, blanched (about 2 cups)
2 to 3 ounces pasta (fresh or dried).  I like an artisanal red pepper fettuccine for this dish.
Parmesan cheese to finish
1 Tablespoon crushed Calabrian chiles to finish (optional)

The broccoli and cauliflower can be blanched ahead of time and held in the refrigerator.  Bring a pot of water to a light boil, add a big pinch of salt, and reduce to a simmer.  Blanch the cauliflower first (because the broccoli turns the water green) for 3-4 minutes.  I like my vegetables still crunchy after blanching, but if you want soft veggies, blanch for 5 minutes.  Remove cauliflower and put immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  Repeat the process with the broccoli.  It’s okay to use the same pot of hot water and the same ice bath.  When the vegetables are cooled, drain and set aside.

When you’re ready to eat, prepare your pasta according to package directions.  Be sure to add 2 or 3 big pinches of kosher salt to the pasta water.  

At the same time, warm the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and warm for 1 minute.  Don’t get the pan too hot – you don’t want the garlic to burn.  Next, add the broccoli and cauliflower to the skillet, and toss with the oil.  Let it warm, then add the chicken stock and lemon juice.

When the pasta is ready, use tongs or a spoon to put the pasta directly into the skillet.  Stir all around.  If you think you don’t have enough sauce (if it looks dry), add a little bit of pasta water until you get a consistency you’re happy with.  Go slow, like ¼ cup at a time, so that you don’t make the dish too soupy.

Off the heat, add parmesan and the Calabrian chiles, if you wish.  This is a pasta dinner that will satisfy your cravings with guilt-free pleasure.

​First published by Judy on July 18, 2015

Home Alone Pasta 2

I make this dinner when my husband is traveling, and that's how the recipe earned its name:  Home Alone Pasta 2.  It's perfect for me, because I love cauliflower (not Joe's favorite) and broccoli, and it's so satisfying with no guilt! Big bowl of veg for the most part!