Sicilian Broccoli and Beef Pasta

Sicilian Broccoli and Beef Pasta  I find interesting the comments I receive when I tell someone about writing my Sicilian Recipe Blog. Each person remembers the foods my mother used to cook and bake and mentions them to me asking that I include that recipe in my blog or future cookbook. Everybody remembers something different.

Recently I received an e-mail from someone very special in my life, Laureen, and she mentioned one of the things my mother used to cook that I thought was a meal no one really knew about. But, that is the recipe she remembers!

It is Sicilian Broccoli and Beef Pasta. It is somewhat thick, a minestra, with browned ground beef, onion, bite-sized pieces of broccoli, diced tomatoes, Ditalini, and common everyday seasonings that make it into a delicious and flavorful thick soup.

Sicilian Broccoli and Beef Pasta was one of the pasta dishes that showed up on our dinner table as one of the many ways my mother cooked pasta.

Another story goes with the pasta dish that Laureen remembers from so long ago but first I will tell you who Laureen is. I never had any sisters and Laureen was one of the little girls who was part of my “second family” that gave me 6 sisters.   Her 3 older sisters are the little girls that are my “first memory” in my life when I was 3 and a half. I was about 5 ½ years old when Laureen was born.

When Laureen was a little girl, maybe 5 or 6, she gave my mother a dime for Mother’s Day. When Laureen was getting married, my mother gave her that dime at her bridal shower. She had saved it all those years. Laureen told me that she still has that dime!

The memories of the past are so touching and precious. This is one of them.

And by the way, my oldest brother and my 96 year old aunt do not remember this dish!

Now for the recipe!

Sicilian Broccoli and Beef Pasta Recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil
1 ½ c. chopped onion
1 ½ lb. lean ground beef in bite sized pieces
5 c. water
5 c. chopped broccoli florets and stems cut into bite sized pieces
1 c. diced tomatoes
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
4 c. cooked ditalini pasta

Directions:

Pour olive oil into a large soup pan. On high heat sauté onions in the oil about 10 minutes. Add ground beef broken into bite sized pieces. Cook until browned while stirring.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, tomatoes, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Put a lid on the pan, tilted for steam to escape.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for about ½ an hour or until broccoli is tender.

Cook the ditalini following package directions.  When it is cooked, drain and measure 4 cups. Add it to the beef and broccoli soup and stir it in. You can add additional water, ½ cup at time, if you want more broth, or you can add less ditalini.  Add more ditalini if you want it thicker.

Serve in soup bowls. Add salt and pepper to tasate.   Season with crushed red pepper if desired.

Sit down with your family and enjoy another delicious authentic Sicilian recipe that came from Modica, Sicily and Cucina Lucia!

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Broccoli and beef simmering on the stove.

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Precooked Ditalini pasta has been added

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Ready to eat! Enjoy!

 


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