Gaia’s Green Trees

Bugenhagen's observatory in Cosmo Canyon“Spirit energy makes all things possible, trees, birds, and humans.”

—Bugenhagen, FFVII

  • 4 oz. whole-wheat penne or rice pasta, uncooked
  • Large bunch of broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Several cloves of garlic, chopped or mashed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)

Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water until al dente, about ten minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Trim the ends of the broccoli stems and cut off the flowers. Peel the outer fibrous layer off the main stalks and cut the stalks into bite-sized pieces.  Separate the flowers of the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Place the broccoli in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Put it in a saucepan with the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat to medium-low, and steam until the broccoli is bright green and very crunchy-tender, no more than 5 minutes. Remove the lid and boil off most of the remaining liquid.

Toss the broccoli with the cooked pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Serves two.