Monday, April 5, 2021

Pasta and Broccoli in Garlic Oil #LitHappens

"And Joe cooked them all a great garlicky pasta-and-broccoli meal."

Pasta and Broccoli in Garlic Oil

This single sentence from The Midnight Library by Matt Haig was the inspiration for our Good Friday dinner.

Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures invited the members of our Lit Happens book club to join her in reading The Midnight Library this month.  This novel was published in August and there was a huge wait for it at the library so I ordered it up on my Nook.

The Midnight Library

This novel reminded me a bit of it's a wonderful life but instead of seeing what life would have been had you never been born, the protagoist, Nora, sees what parallel lives she is living based on the different decisions she could have made.

Nora suffers from anxiety and depression, when she loses her job and then her cat gets killed she decides that life is not worth living and takes an overdose of her prescribed medication.  This happens at precisely midnight and she suddenly finds herself in a library with her grade school librarian who had shown her kindness as a child.  

Nora is given a book of regrets and is allowed to choose other (parallel) lives that she is living having made different decisions.  Nora is told that when she finds a life where she is happy she will remain in that life and forget all about the Midnight Library, however if she is unhappy she will be brought back to try another parallel life.  

Nora lives many lives during this period, some happy, some sad, some better, some worse but in the end she learns the lesson that Jimmy Stewart learned in It's a Wonderful Life.

I enjoyed this novel very much and we all enjoyed this Meatless Meal on Good Friday inspired by the novel.  Lit Happens is not a Foodie Book Club but many of the members are Foodies and find food inspiration that we share during the month before, during or after our Q&A sessions.  I am also sharing this post over at Foodie's Read which is, as the name depicts, a Foodie Book Club.

Meatless, Pasta, Broccoli, Vegetarian,
Entrees, Pasta
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Broccoli and Pasta in Garlic Oil

Broccoli and Pasta in Garlic Oil

Broccoli sauteed in garlic oil until crisp tender and tossed with pasta for a quick, delicious and easy meatless meal.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 25 Min


  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small broccoli crown, sliced and chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lb. short pasta, I used penne, cooked per package directions
  • Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med heat.  Add the garlic and crushed red pepper.  Cook until fragrant and the garlic is golden brown. Remove garlic and discard.
  2. Add the broccoli, season with salt and pepper,  and cook until crisp tender, 4-5 minutes.  Turn the heat to high and add the vinegar, cook until evaporated.  Ladle the pasta from the cooking pot into the skillet using a spider or slotted spoon.  Add a bit more cooking water if needed but the residual water on the pasta should suffice.  Toss and serve with parmesan cheese.


Adapted from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian



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  1. Pasta is so much more versatile than I used to realize. Tomato sauce is only one of so many options! This is a good one.

    be safe... mae at

  2. Both the book and your meatless dish look very good. I'm always happy to have both delicious looking recipes and an interesting book!

  3. This pasta is simple and satisfying. This book sounds like a great read and going to get it in my library. Thanks for sharing recipe as well as your review about the book.

    1. Thanks Radha. You should join our LitHappens facebook group.


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