Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gardening Leave Lunch

Your comments on my post bemoaning the Foodie Blogging Woes were so encouraging, dear readers, that I'm taking the plunge today and posting a recipe - with pictures!

Originally, my employers and I agreed that I would satisfy my notice period at the office, but we've arranged things so that I generally won't have to actually go in to work.  That means that I have time during the day to luxuriate a bit in taking the time to cook and document recipes that I can then share with you.  The photographs below still aren't great, but the main problems I complained about weren't issues: it was the middle of the day, so I had light, and I was just cooking for myself, so it didn't matter if the food got cold (though it didn't).

On Wednesday, I made a twist on absorption pasta; it's sort of like risotto without the rice but just as yummy!  It's perfect for this time of year because it's still warm and comforting while not being too heavy - and the lemon and shallots makes it exactly right for spring.  The recipe I based this on actually called for asparagus, but it's not quite in season yet so I decided to use broccoli instead.

Absorption Pasta with Feta and Broccoli
serves 2

200g pasta (I used trottole, but anything that's not long and stringy would work well)
2c chicken broth (you can make this vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth)
2 shallots, sliced
1 lemon, zested
4 tbs olive oil
125g broccoli florets
125g feta, crumbled

Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a big saucepan and then add the shallots, sautéing for just a minute.  Add the dry pasta and stir for a minute to coat with the oil/shallot mixture.  The pasta should toast a bit, but don't let the shallots burn.  Pour in the chicken stock; it will just cover the pasta.  Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat so the liquid doesn't boil.  Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the other 2 tbs of olive oil in a sauté pan and add the broccoli florets.  Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pasta is done.

Add the broccoli to the pasta and stir for another two minutes.  Take the saucepan off the heat and add in the lemon zest and the feta.  Mix well so that the remaining liquid coats the pasta/shallots/broccoli/feta in a sort of silky sauce.  I find that you don't need any additional salt as the broth and the cheese are salty enough, but you could add some pepper if you wanted.  And enjoy!


  1. Looks delicious might have to try that thanks for sharing!

  2. Yum! After recently having fries sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice, and feta at a Greek restaurant, I am throwing feta into all sorts of dishes. This one looks delish! Thanks, Betsy!

  3. Yummy! I'm glad you took the leap. My ability to post recipes has grown so much since I began so I wouldn't worry about anything. Your food looks delicious and keep the recipes coming!

  4. How creative! I have never had feta cheese in pasta before, but it definitely sounds delicious. I think this recipe will come in handy and be used soon!

    -- Farra

  5. Wanted to let you know I made an adapted version of this the other night! (I used the veggie broth, added broccoli, cauliflower and mushroom, and used a smoked greek cheese instead of feta.) It was definitely a win- though I'll stick with feta next time as the smoked greek cheese wasn't great. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. This looks amazing...I'm so hungry now haha. I'm gonna be trying this tonight, I doubt it will come anywhere near as good though


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