California Central Coast Recipes
Penne with Broccoli, Golden Raisins and Walnuts
Penne with Broccoli, Golden Raisins and Walnuts is our recipe that's loosely based on one that's an old classic from the southern part of Italy. Almost everyone will like this recipe combination --be it used as a nice side-dish or as the main pasta course.
This recipe combines the flavors of sauteed white onion, diced cooked ham, broccoli flowerettes, golden raisins, and chopped walnuts --all cooked in walnut oil and mixed with penne pasta.
In the original recipe, in place of ham and walnuts it called for anchovies and pine nuts. Here in California it's hard to find really fresh-tasting pine nuts so we prefer the delicious taste of fresh California walnuts, and we think the strong flavor of the anchovies over-powers the nice fresh favors of the broccoli, which the ham does not. You really must try it! You'll be surprised how well this combination of flavors hit the spot! And it's gorgeous to look at well!
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 20 minutes
2 to 3 Tablespoons Walnut oil
1-1/3 pounds Broccoli crown , trimmed and cut into flower-ettes
1 Small white onion , chopped
1/3 pounds Ham slice one-quarter inch thick , diced
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1/2 cup walnuts , coarsely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 ounces Penne pasta
Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Fill a pasta pot with lid and hot water. Over high heat, the pot covered and water boiling, steam broccoli flowerettes three-four minutes. When cooked and the broccoli is tender but still has a nice crunch, remove from heat and spray the broccoli with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. Keep the pot filled with hot water and leave it to cook the pasta in.
2 In a separate large stockpot, over medium heat, add walnut oil (or you can substitute extra-virgin olive oil) to the saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Add in the diced onion and saute until onion is softened and slightly golden.
3 Add in the diced ham and saute until lightly brown on edges. Add in broccoli flowerettes and saute. Add in the walnuts and heat through.
4 Add in the raisins and heat through. Add in salt and pepper, stir well to distribute evenly. Taste and correct seasonings and taste combination. Correct for personal taste.
5 In the meantime, cook pasta in boiling salted water as directed on package. Drain and add to sauce. Toss thoroughly and evenly distribute the pasta throughout the sauce.
6 Serve on individual dinner plates or pasta bowls. Have (optional) grated Parmesan cheese available at the table.
Serve with a Chardonnay or light Grenache.