Yield: 2 or 3 servings
8 ounces cavatelli pasta
12 frozen or fresh broccoli florets (2 to 3 cups)
3 cups half-and-half
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter or margarine
11/2 cups thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup spicy marinara sauce or regular marinara mixed with a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pot, cook pasta just until tender; drain well. Return to pot. Meanwhile, if using fresh broccoli, steam until tender-crisp; drain. (Frozen broccoli does not need to be precooked.)
2. Add broccoli, half-and-half, butter, mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, white pepper and marinara to pasta; stir to combine.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil for about 1 minute, then add Parmesan, reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce thickens to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. (If sauce thickens too much, stir in a little more half-and-half.)
Per serving (based on 3): 768 calories; 64g fat (75 percent calories from fat); 39g saturated fat; 186mg cholesterol; 27g protein; 23g carbohydrate; 5g sugar; 3.5g fiber; 910mg sodium; 749mg calcium; 850mg potassium.