This quick and easy pasta recipe uses an entire broccoli. The head, stalk and the leaves. The addition of tangy capers and zesty lemon pack a delicious flavour punch.
Who doesn’t love a quick and healthy dinner? This broccoli pasta with lemon and capers fits that brief.
It’s still winter in New Zealand (just!) so there is still citrus and broccoli galore. At the same time though, spring is in the air. I’m enjoying cooking something a little lighter and zestier to suit the changing season.
I’m using a whole broccoli in this recipe, a medium sized one. The broccoli head, the upper part of the stem (before it gets too hard and fibrous) and the newer leaves.
The stem is peeled and chopped into small pieces along with the broccoli head. The leaves are shredded but they won’t be added until later.
The chopped broccoli is steamed for a minute or two until just tender.
This makes a chunkier sauce but the broccoli retains more nutrients. If you wanted a smoother sauce, steam the broccoli in a saucepan until very tender.
In a pan I combine olive oil, capers and garlic and sauté them. Then I add in the steamed broccoli, lemon zest, shredded broccoli leaves, chilli flakes (optional) and a little dried oregano.
This is cooked for another minute before being mixed or mashed together along with lemon juice and olive oil, parsley, salt and black pepper, into a chunky sauce.
Then it’s mixed in with whatever pasta shape you like, and I top it with some grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts.
And that’s it! Healthy, fresh and perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
Have you tried this? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz
Broccoli pasta with lemon and capers
- Olive oil
- 1 medium broccoli (Upper stem and newest leaves too)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 5 tbsp capers
- 1 large lemon
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes optional
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 tbsp pinenuts
- parmesan to serve
- 400 grams dried pasta Shape of your choice
- Cut the broccoli head away from the upper stem. Remove the leaves and set aside.Peel off the outer layer of the upper stem and remove any pieces that are too hard. Chop the peeled stem and the broccoli head into small pieces.
- Place the chopped broccoli in a heat proof bowl and pour over boiling water. Let it steam for 2 minutes before draining. This makes a chunkier sauce but the broccoli retains more nutrients. If you wanted a smoother sauce, steam the broccoli in a saucepan until very tender.
- Shred the broccoli leaves finely.
- Zest the lemon and squeeze out the juice. Set both the juice and zest aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove for the pasta. Once it is boiling, add 1/2 tsp of salt and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- While the water is boiling, place a saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the garlic and capers and saute for a few minutes.
- Add in the chopped broccoli, lemon zest, shredded brocoli leaves, chilli and dried oregano. Cook for a minute or two. Add in salt and cracked black pepper to taste,
- Remove from the heat and blend the pan ingredients together along with 2-3 tbsp olive oil, the fresh parsley and the lemon juice . You could add the ingredients to small blender, use a stick blender or simply mash it together with a potato masher. Doing it with a potato masher will make a much chunkier mixture.If you are hand mashing it, finely chop the parsley first.
- Drain the pasta and add in the broccoli mixture. Toss it well it to coat.
- Toast a hanful of pinenuts in a clean and ungreased pan for a few minutes until browned.
- Serve the pasta with a sprinkle grated parmesan cheese and the toasted pinenuts.