12ounces350 g dried ziti pasta, or other long pasta shape
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1fat garlic clovecrushed
2/3cup100 g roughly chopped vegetarian blue cheese, such as gorgonzola
1 1/3cups100 g pine nuts, toasted until goldenVegetarian Parmesan cheese, finely grated, to serve, optional
Blanch the broccoli in plenty of boiling water for 3 minutes or so. Drain in a colander and refresh under ice-cold water to preserve its color. Drain again and roughly chop.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until al dente.
Meanwhile, put the butter and garlic into a cold large frying pan, place over medium heat and cook for a minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Add the broccoli, cover with a lid or baking sheet and cook very gently for a few minutes. The broccoli should be very soft and yield easily to a wooden spoon pressed on it. Stir in the mascarpone, if using, and blue cheese and heat through to form a sauce. Season with salt and lots of pepper to taste. Stir in the pine nuts.
Drain the pasta, but don’t be too precious about draining off every drop of water. Transfer the pasta straight into the broccoli pan and mix well. Serve in warmed bowls, with vegetarian Parmesan cheese grated over, if you like.