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Pasta and Trees


  • 1 pound broccoli tops

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 pound pasta, such as penne, cavatappi, elbows or medium shells

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut up

  • 1 cup grated parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese


Have a grown-up helper (GH) put a big pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Separate the broccoli into small "trees" by pulling them apart. Ask your GH to trim off the woody stems of the trees so you can break them up more easily. Put the trees into a pot and have your GH add enough water just to cover the tops. The GH should bring the water to a boil and add four pinches of salt to the water. You can count for them. Cook the broccoli for five minutes and have the GH drain it. When the pasta water boils, have the GH put four more pinches of salt into the pot and add the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente (that's Italian for “done but still with a bite to it”), according to the package instructions. Put the EVOO and butter into a big bowl. Ask the GH to add the hot drained pasta and broccoli to the bowl. Add the cheese to the bowl and stir it all up until the butter melts and the cheese mixes in. Add a little salt and pepper and taste the pasta to see how the seasoning is.

This is a great recipe for kids and the whole family from Yum-o! It's good AND good for you. For more information about Yum-o! go to the Yum-o! website.