I am a HUGE Tom Colleccio fan. I’ve read his books, I follow him on Twitter, I watch Top Chef whenever I get the chance, and when we were going to visit New York City last year we had plans to have dinner at one of his restaurants, Craft, and also stop at ‘wichcraft, his sandwich shop, for lunch. Chef Colleccio doesn’t just make great food; he is also a strong advocate for the restaurant industry and restaurant workers (he has fought tirelessly for them throughout the pandemic) and is deeply involved with hunger issues, both in New York and nationally.
Chef Colleccio mentioned this recipe on Twitter the other day, so I went to check it out and was excited to see we had everything on hand to make it. Aside from some chopping (the ham and the broccoli), everything was done and ready for the table in less than 20 minutes. We all raved about the results (YaYu had two helpings), and it immediately reached “favorite recipe” status and will be in frequent rotation here.
While the type of pasta was not indicated in the recipe, I used spaghetti because that’s what I had on hand, but I think almost any shape would work. The recipe does note that other vegetables can be substituted for the broccoli, such as frozen peas, asparagus or cauliflower. The half-cup of olive oil called for was too much for me; I used 1/4 cup and it was enough.
TOM COLLECCIO’S ONE POT PASTA
- 1 pound dry pasta
- 1 large head broccoli, cut crosswise to make small, irregular pieces
- 3/4 pound smoked pork loin, smoked ham, or smoked turkey, cut into 1/3″ cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil (more or less to taste)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water; generously add salt to the water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. About 3 – 4 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the broccoli to the pot and continue to simmer.
Set aside some of the hot pasta water and drain the pasta and broccoli; set it aside for a minute. Return the pot to the stove, add half of the olive oil, and saute the garlic until it begins to brown, then add the meat and heat through.
Add the pasta and broccoli back to the pot and combine with the ham and garlic. Then add the Parmesan cheese and remaining olive oil and toss, then the pasta water, a little at a time, stirring until there is a creamy sauce coating everything.
Season generously with fresh cracked pepper and with more cheese on the side, if desired.