Broccoli meets puttanesca in this simple Broccoli, Lemon and Chilli Pasta. The broccoli combines beautifully with typical puttanesca flavours of garlic, chilli, anchovies, lemon and capers to create a wonderful, light, summery pasta dish. Best of all, this recipe can be made in under 15 minutes!
Broccoli, Lemon and Chilli Pasta
This delicious Broccoli, Lemon and Chilli Pasta is so easy to make. Simply pop your pasta on to cook, then gently fry chilli, garlic, anchovies and capers in olive oil for a couple of minutes. A few minutes before the pasta is cooked, steam the broccoli, then add the pasta and broccoli to the chilli and garlic mix. Finally add the lemon juice and zest, plus a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. And voila – easy, delicious and on your table in under 15 minutes!
A note about broccoli…
Broccoli really is the star of this dish – try to buy the best available. I have used normal broccoli in the photos, but this recipe also works well with tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli. I have used a steamer in this recipe to lightly steam the broccoli, as I prefer the flavour and it helps preserve the nutritional content and bright green colour. However, if you don’t have a steamer, you can boil the broccoli in the same pan as your pasta.
Not a fan of anchovies?
I love anchovies and they really help to give flavour and seasoning to this dish. However, if anchovies aren’t your thing, or if you want to make this veggie, just leave them out!
Make it your own
This easy broccoli pasta recipe is very easy to adapt:
- Use any pasta shape you like (fusilli, penne and spaghetti all work well!)
- Use brown pasta instead of white
- Use tuna instead of (or as well as) the anchovies
- Leave out the anchovies and/or capers if you are not a fan
- Add fresh chilli instead of dried chilli flakes
- Add extra chilli if you like your food hot!
- Make it more substantial by adding 250g (9oz) leftover roast chicken
- Add extra green vegetables, such as green beans or asparagus
What to serve with broccoli pasta?
This Broccoli, Lemon and Chilli Pasta is just perfect on its own, but if you want, you could serve it with a chunk of crusty white bread and/or a green side salad.
What to drink with broccoli pasta?
This Broccoli, Lemon and Chilli Pasta dish pairs beautifully with crisp, dry Italian whites and also works well with a fresh, zesty Sauvignon Blanc.
Red wine wouldn’t work well here, but a light southern French rosé would pair nicely.
Can you eat broccoli pasta cold?
This easy broccoli pasta tastes best hot, but you can absolutely eat it cold too – as a pasta salad. Any leftovers would make a delicious packed lunch the next day.
Can you freeze broccoli pasta?
No, this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
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Broccoli, Lemon and Chilli Pasta
- 400 g pasta (I used fusilli, but penne or spaghetti would work well too)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (Or 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- 25 g anchovies chopped finely (optional)
- 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
- 300 g broccoli chopped into small florets
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- Salt and pepper
- Grated parmesan to serve (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions / your own preferences.
- Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a fairly large saucepan or frying pan (it should be big enough to hold the cooked pasta and broccoli) and add the chilli, garlic, anchovies and capers. Heat gently on a low heat, stirring to break up the anchovies. Do not let the garlic burn!
- 4 minutes before the pasta is cooked, put a steamer over the pasta and put the broccoli in the steamer. Steam for 4 minutes until the pasta and broccoli are cooked. (See Note 1.)
- Drain the pasta and add the pasta and broccoli to the chilli and garlic mix along with a small splash of the pasta cooking water. Add the lemon juice and zest plus a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
- Stir everything together and serve drizzled with extra olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan.
- I have used a steamer in this recipe to lightly steam the broccoli, as I prefer the flavour and it helps preserve the nutritional content and bright green colour. However, if you don’t have a steamer, you can boil the broccoli in the same pan as your pasta.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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