Inspired by Giada's simple, 20-minute recipe of Farfalle with broccoli, I attempted a modified version.
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
2 heads broccoli, trimmed to florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped (I used ginger-garlic paste today)
1/2 red onion, medium
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used chilli powder; and lots of it...the spicier, the better!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, add the broccoli florets to the pasta and stir and cook for another 4 minutes. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, toss for 2 minutes, then add chicken and red pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, pasta, salt and pepper and toss. Add some of the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to make a light sauce. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with Parmesan.