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Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Grin Comes Broccoli!

When last month I was sending the post "To Start with Broccoli" I knew for sure that I would be experimenting with broccoli again. Just never thought it would be so soon.

While a day earlier I was asking my date regarding what food we should be having for a nice romantic home cooked dinner, all I got were a grin and comforting words: "Whatever you cook tastes good for me". Ha ha what a indecisive flirt!

Anyway to make things simpler, I handed over the Italian cooking book after we narrowed down our preference to Italian food. Still no decision was made. Being assertive on my end, I made the suggestions after a few flips and finally settled with Smoked Ham Spaghetti with Broccoli and Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Thyme.

Serves 3 persons

- Dried spaghetti > 150 grams
- Broccoli – cut to florets > 100 grams
- Water > 1 ½ liters
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Olive oil > 1 tablespoon
- Butter > 1 tablespoon
- All purpose flour > 1/8 cups
- Milk > 1 cup
- Whipping cream > 1 ½ tablespoons
- Nutmeg powder > 1/8 teaspoon
- Fresh thyme - pluck leaves from stalk > 1/8 teaspoon
- Pepper > 1/8 teaspoon
- Cheddar cheese – grate > ½ cup
- Smoked ham – cut into square strips > 50 grams

- Boil 1 ½ liters of water and salt. Add spaghetti and broccoli. Cook until spaghetti just firm to the bite. Drain spaghetti and broccoli separately.
- Stir in olive oil into drained spaghetti and stir so strains will not stick together. Set aside.
- Preheat pan and melt butter. Add all purpose flour and stir quickly to mix well.
- Lower the heat. Pour in milk. Continue cooking and stirring for 15 minutes until thick and smooth.
- Add nutmeg powder, thymes, pepper, and whipping cream and mix well.
- Fold in spaghetti and stir well. Add grated cheddar cheese and stir until cheese completely melted.
- Toss in broccoli and ham strips.
- Serve hot with crusty bread.

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