Jun 25

I decided to call the newest section of our e-magazine Cibo, “Young Cooks” because the young people which I am referring to are open to new things and are curious about tradition; because they are searching for spirituality in any form, in health and in simplicity; and because the world has changed and only they can make it rich with good things.

So here is the first recipe for the “Young Cooks” from the June issue of Cibo, and also includes helpful cooking tips and what tools you’ll need.

Penne with Mozzarella and Broccoli

The whole wheat penne can be substituted with white penne or another pasta shape, but it’s best to use short pasta.

Time: This quick recipe can be prepared in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Health: The sauce is not cooked; the ingredients, including olive oil, will maintain all of their nutritional properties. The recipe contains protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber and carbohydrates, and is rich in polyphenols from the pasta and the extra-virgin olive oil.

Required Tools: pot, knife, mezzaluna (or a food processor), cutting board, mixing spoon.

  • Pot: The pot that I am suggesting is very practical and can be used to boil pasta, rice, vegetables and fruit; not using a colander will eliminate the risk of getting burned. If you wish to use a colander, any pot is fine if it contains enough water.
  • Knife: So it’s not too dangerous, knives are to be very sharp. The knife that I suggest is an excellent one I call Easy Going (EG). With the EG you can cut soft mozzarella like it’s aged pecorino, tomatoes like their onions and also bread.
  • Mezzaluna: I suggest a mezzaluna with a double blade because it’s the easiest to use.
  • Cutting Board: I prefer wood, but a medium-sized cutting board made from synthetic material is useful for this recipe and for many others.
  • Mixing Spoon: It’s best to use a spoon made from synthetic material because it’s not absorbent and is more hygienic.

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound whole wheat penne
3 cups broccoli florets, divided
8 ounces mozzarella
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1 clove garlic
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon anchovy paste
freshly ground pepper

1 Place the penne near the stove and open the box. Put all of the ingredients on the kitchen counter and bring the water to a boil. Add salt and the penne to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
2 Meanwhile, wash the broccoli and cut it into small pieces. Also cut the mozzarella into small pieces. Measure the Parmigiano and peel the garlic.
3 Place on the cutting board, or in the food processor, 1/2 of the broccoli, Parmigiano and olive oil and 1/3 of the mozzarella and garlic. If you use a food processor add vinegar and anchovy paste and season with salt and pepper until the mixture is thick and creamy. If you use the mezzaluna, add the liquid ingredients directly into the serving dish.
4 Pour the mixture into a serving dish and slowly mix adding the remaining olive oil until everything is well combined.
5 Add the remaining broccoli, Parmigiano and mozzarella, mix well and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
6 Once the pasta is cooked, set aside a cup of its cooking water, then drain the pasta and immediately put it into the serving dish.
7 Mix together well for 30 to 40 seconds, add a little of the pasta cooking water to make sure the mixture is evenly combined and not too dry. The dish is ready and should be served warm.