Rachael Ray to the Rescue

Problem: With three small children and no time to cook, Helena and Joseph Goncalves were serving the same old suppers. Solution: We sent a famous foodie to give them new recipes and bust them out of their dinner rut.

Pasta, Cheese, and Trees My Mama's Way

Anthony, 4, and Angelina, 2, are ready for more than just buttered noodles. Rachael showed Helena and Joseph how to make her mom's favorite pasta recipe -- and the kids ate it up.

Pasta, Cheese, and Trees My Mama's Way

  • 1 pound penne, corkscrew pasta, or medium shells
  • 1 pound broccoli tops
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut up
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, pull apart broccoli into small "trees." Put the broccoli into a pot and add enough water to just cover the tops. Bring the water to a boil and add 4 pinches salt. Cook for 5 minutes once the water comes to a boil. Drain.
  2. Pour EVOO and butter into a deep frying pan and heat over low heat. When the butter melts, add the garlic and cook 5 minutes. Stir in broccoli and cooked pasta. Add ricotta and Parmesan, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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