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Pasta con Broccoli

So, a few weeks ago I decided to share some recipes with you. This is a family favorite (especially of Maggie's, although everyone likes it). I got my version from a law school friend, who got it from the Musial family in St. Louis (and yes, that means it's probably a dish that "Stan the Man" ate). Turns out that "pasta con broccoli" is a really popular restaurant dish in at least two restaurants out there, so probably it's a version from one of the restaurants, which may or may not have been adapted.

I have actually cut the version I got in half, which makes enough to serve at least 4-6 people. (Go ahead and double it to serve a small crowd - the recipe says 6-8, which it does as a main course easily - just be prepared to use BIG POTS if you do!)

Pasta con Broccoli

It's what's for dinner tonight.

1 lb. of small to medium shell pasta, cooked per directions on the box

In a big pot:
Melt 4 Tbsp. of butter

1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 c. mushrooms (we like lots, so I go heavy on these - the original recipe calls for 1 cup)

After a few minutes, add:
2 cups (1 pint) half & half
4 Tbsp. of tomato paste
1-2 c. fresh broccoli, chopped (again, we go heavy on these - the original recipe calls for 2 cups)

Stir and let the sauce come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Removed from heat.
Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper to taste.

Combine with pasta and serve. It's especially great with a nice salad and maybe some garlic bread.

I note that this appears to be the original restaurant recipe, which calls for only partially cooking the pasta, then finishing it in the sauce, which involves cream and spaghetti sauce, rather than half & half and tomato paste.

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