Before we get to the ice cream it is only appropriate that we eat our vegetables first. My mother taught me well.


While the color of this dish might be one that only Oscar the Grouch approves of don’t let the murky-brown hue taint your taste buds. This dish is rich and incredibly satisfying. The best part is that it uses a very common (and extremely nutritious) vegetable in an uncommon way.

Broccoli as a thick and creamy pasta sauce? You’ve got to be kidding me!


Oh I kid you not!

The recipe comes from, “Home Cooking” by Laurie Colwin. First of all if you have not read this book put it at the top of your to-do list. (Also add, “More Home Cooking”). Her writing is charming and light. She and I spent hours together sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand as she told me about her life and the food that illustrates it.

Well, she wasn’t actually sitting next to me but it sure felt like it.

My second favorite part of the recipe, with the first being the dish itself, is how she got away with writing it.

“Now to broccoli. How some people hate it! However, it turns into a sleek, rich pasta sauce. First you steam it. Then you saute it in dark green olive oil with two cloves of garlic until the garlic is soft. Then you toss it all in the blender with pepper, a pinch of salt, the jice of half a lemon, more olive oil and serve it on penne or ziti or fusilli with lots of grate cheese, and no one will suspect what is being served.” (Home Cooking, pg. 60)

I love that there are no restrictions, no measurements and is left open to so much interpretation. She gives us the outline and lets us color in the rest and if we choose to color outside the lines, it’s encouraged.


I followed the “recipe” fairly close except for the addition of chili flakes while sauteing (I left out the pepper). I uses oodles of Parmesan cheese to serve.

Now quick go make this so you can devour the ice cream and sorbet with a clear conscience knowing you ate your vegetables first.


16 Responses to “Vegetables first”

  1. Sugary Chic

    CRAZY because I made something very similar to this last Sunday b/c I had to use up a broccoli head and bunch of spinach a.s.a.p. I boiled them all (stems and leaves and florets chopped) in beef stock with a garlic clove – threw it in my Vitamix and told my little ones that it was “Alien Mac and Cheese”. I watched my 4 year old eat a HUGE bowl and my 10 months old ate 3 baby servings!!!!!

  2. Deborah

    I don’t have any problems getting people to eat broccoli around here- Elise always eats first. But I still LOVE this idea! I can’t wait to try it.

  3. Kate

    OOH! Ingenious! I get so tired of the texture of broccoli. This seems like a creamy, low-fat!, alternative to pesto. Tasty!

  4. Jen

    Both books are added to my wish list! This recipe is perfect for tonight as I’m flying solo and will reward with much dessert. 😉

  5. Elyse

    Mmm, this broccoli sauce totally intrigues me! How fabulous! Although I’m not one who has a problem consuming my broccoli, I’m all for using it in unexpected ways. This is certainly unexpected and delicious!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Us too. We all love broccoli but I tire easily and love finding new ways to use stand-by ingredients. I do hope you try it and let me know how you like it!

  6. Jen

    Made this recipe in a snap! Very creamy and flavorful. It’s officially added to the repertoire.

  7. Theora55

    I miss Laurie Colwin so much. If you like fiction, read her novels, too.

    Your photos are really terrific; I’ve been enjoying them. thanks.

  8. Nikki Cooks

    I would love to try this and see if my kids would notice.? I can eat raw broccoli but everyone else in the household despises it! Is the flavor of broccoli overpowering? It is a ‘strong’ veggie. Thanks for sharing!

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