More about the sauce I made last night...While reading Food & Wine at the gym, I became inspired by a story about two chefs who use every bit of whatever it is they're cooking with- leaves, stalks, so forth. This head-to-tail concept isn't particularly new but reading about it again shifted my thinking yesterday towards a way to make the pasta sauce from the broccoli leaves and stems in addition to topping everything with the florets.
The cool benefits of doing this included getting a much greater amount of veggie mass in the dish, less waste as I used everything but the rough edges that I peeled off, and the sauce had a creaminess that almost approximated an alfredo minus the cream, milk and butter. In this dish, which would serve 3-4, I used the 2 very large stalks of the broccoli I had, all the leaves from both, and the florets from one.
For the sauce, I peeled, chopped and boiled the broccoli stalks and leaves in salted water with a peeled and halved garlic clove. When it was tender but not mushy, I drained the veggies (but reserved the cooking liquid), added back about 1/4 c of the cooking water, and used an immersion blender to liquefy it. Then I stirred in another scant quarter cup of the cooking liquid and a couple ounces of blue cheese (2-3 oz fourme d'ambert) until it melted and was incorporated.
In a larger skillet, I heated some olive oil (~2T) and in it gently cooked some slivered garlic (1 large clove) and shallots (1 small shallot) and towards the end, tossed in the broccoli florets which I'd blanched as well as a handful of raisins. Then a toss together in the still-warm pasta pot, the cooked pasta, broccoli sauce and broccoli sauté. A grate of Parmesan and voila.