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As part of my plan to introduce Meatless Mondays into our meals, I decided to make some pasta tonight. The plan is to cook up a yummy dish and just pass it off for what it is.  No mention of Meatless Mondays because the last time I did that, I got attitude. And not just from the kiddies.

Pasta, broccoli, olive oil and garlic. Oh, and some freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese for a little zing.  So where do the little ears come in?  Well, the pasta in question is called “orecchiette” in Italian. Orecchie, meaning ears, and the “ette” ending refers to a small size. Little ears. Take a look and see for yourself.  They do resemble little ears, don’t you think?

Even more so when they’re cooked.

You don’t have to use orecchiette. Penne or pennette is another good choice. Spaghetti works too. Chop a head of broccoli into little florets. Mince 3 garlic cloves. Heat up some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, about 1/4 cup, on medium heat. Add garlic and after about a minute and a half, add broccoli florets. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add some water. Not much, less than 1/4 cup, just enough to continue cooking the broccoli without burning the garlic. Burnt garlic tastes bitter. Cook for a few minutes more and it’s done. Set aside.

Boil water for pasta. Add salt to boiling water. Add the pasta and cook according to package. Drain pasta, return to pot and add some extra virgin olive oil, 3 or 4 splashes. Throw in the broccoli and garlic and toss with some grated Pecorino Romano. Plate the pasta and grate more cheese over the top. You could also use Parmigiano Reggiano. Voila, dinner is served!

It was Meatless Monday and they had no clue! And they loved it!