As a kid, this was one of my favorites. It was passed down from my grandmother to my mother. It is one of those meals that we ate regularly. I have applied some “raw” vegan principles to it and it is now one of my very favorite meals in a pinch and on a dime.
For the “raw” part, I am using raw as a term for pure (not uncooked). The brown rice pasta does not contain flour or other additives. It is pure stone ground brown rice porridge and water – nothing more. You can even get organic or spinach versions. It comes in all of the same pasta shapes we know and love. It is also vegan as it does not contain eggs as some other pastas do. If you are gluten intolerant, have egg allergies or are a vegan, it is a great choice. It tastes great and does not leave you feeling as bulked up and full as regular pasta.
As for the vegan elements, there are no animal products whatsoever in this recipe. Broccoli is a nutrient rich food. Although some may eat it raw exclusively, it does need slight cooking in order to break down some of the enzymes to make the nutrients more attainable and easier to digest.
It is a strong cancer fighter. I eat it often and use it to make vegetable juices at home. As for the choice of olive oil in the recipe, olive oil is a heart-healthy oil. It is high in monounsaturated fat which is one of the good fats that is so important for our health.
Garlic has strong antioxidant properties and should be a regular part of everyone’s diet.
What you need:
One 16 oz package of brown rice pasta – spaghetti, penne or whatever your favorite type.
1-2 fresh broccoli heads (organic if possible) – I add more broccoli to make it a little bulkier.
4-6 cloves of garlic – depending on how garlicky you like things (I prefer more)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, prepare the pasta water. Add some olive oil and salt and pepper to season the water. Bring it to a brisk boil and add the brown rice pasta. Brown rice pasta takes a bit longer to cook than regular pasta. It is difficult to overcook it, but it should be stirred often to ensure that it doesn’t stick together.
It is a good practice to prepare the broccoli as the pasta is cooking. To start, cut up the broccoli. Take the stalks off by cutting the heads where they branch. If you make vegetable juice at home, use the stalks in your vegetable juice. You can also chop them and use them in soups. Or, just discard. Rinse well.
Use a wok to cook the broccoli. First add the olive oil and let it heat slightly. Chop or crush the garlic and add it to the oil. Add 1/2 cup of water and the broccoli. The water will create a little bit of steam.
Cover and cook the broccoli for about 7 minutes. Stir it occasionally. Don’t let the broccoli get mushy. It should be a bit firm when done.
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and rinse it. Move it to a big bowl so you can complete the dish by adding the broccoli. Pour the broccoli, garlic and oil over the pasta and mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste and a little bit more olive oil.
Serve the pasta and broccoli with a big green salad.
This brown rice porridge should feed about 4 hungry people.