Friday, March 17, 2006

Penne Beef and Broccoli

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes - 15 minutes or less
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/2 bunch broccoli
2 to 3 carrots
1 large onion
2 large ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup green pitted olives
3 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
4 cups uncooked penne
2 to 2-1/2 cups frozen roast beef strips
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, slice stem off broccoli. Cut florets into bite-size pieces. Peel and thinly slice stem. Thinly slice or julienne carrots. Thinly slice onion and separate into rings. Coarsely chop tomatoes. Thickly slice or coarsely chop olives. Combine spaghetti sauce, olives, salt and red pepper flakes, for extra spiciness, in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring often, until hot and bubbly, about 8 minutes.

Once vegetables are cut and spaghetti sauce is simmering, add pasta, carrots and onion to rapidly boiling water. Stir to keep separate while water returns to a full rolling boil. Cook according to package directions until pasta is almost al dente, usually 9 to 10 minutes for penne.

When pasta is almost cooked, add cold or frozen beef strips to simmering sauce and cover pan. Then, add broccoli to boiling pasta and vegetables. When broccoli is bright green and still slightly firm, from 1 to 2 minutes, drain pasta and vegetables.

In a large heated bowl, toss hot pasta and vegetables with sauce, fresh tomatoes and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and serve right away.

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