{Recipe} Broccoli and Bowties

broccoli pasta

Broccoli and Bowties

As you can see from the picture, this dish might be more aptly named Broccoli and Whatever Obscure Pasta You Have in Your Pantry, but that just didn’t flow as nicely. When I was deep in the throes of morning sickness my dear neighbor brought me this delightful pasta dish. I smiled as she handed it to me and thanked her, knowing full well that it was NOT going to stay in my stomach long enough to be worth her trouble. I couldn’t even keep down water at the time. Imagine my surprise when this subtly lemon flavored pasta not only knocked my socks off, but stayed down! In my opinion it is the perfect pasta, the sauce is light and tangy with lemon, the pine nuts add the perfect crunch and you can add as much broccoli as you want! Finally a meal that our whole family can enjoy, even a stubborn little embryo.

I am all about using bottled lemon or lime juice when a recipe calls for fresh squeezed. But if a recipe calls for zest, do yourself a favor and actually use the juice. I tried compensating for missing zest by using extra zest and it just doesn’t work. Zest packs in so much flavor. I’ll admit, for years I have been zesting my citrus with a small cheese grater. I know, I am ashamed. It seemed to work okay, aside from the occasional burst of bitterness when you chomped down on  a large piece of lemon peel. Then last Christmas my in-laws  gave me a mircoplane zester. I am here to offer you my testimonial that there is a big difference between an actual microplane and a very small cheese grater. Not sure why, not sure how, but it’s true. So put a zester on your Christmas list and enjoy this pasta, key lime pie, and all sorts of other zest-filled delicacies!

Broccoli and Bowties
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 5
  • 8 cups broccoli florets
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb farfalle (bowtie) pasta (or whatever pasta you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup toasted pignolis (pine nuts)
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil the broccoli until tender (5-7 minutes). Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl, set aside.
  2. In the same water cook the bow-tie pasta according to package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to broccoli.
  3. Meanwhile in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook till butter is melted. Add the garlic and lemon zest over and saute over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off of the heat add 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and the lemon juice. Pour the butter/lemon mixture over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with pine nuts and Parmesan, serve.

To toast your pine nuts place them in a dry saute pan over medium low heat and cook, tossing often, until they start to lightly brown. Don’t walk away, trust me. There is nothing worse than over-toasting your pine nuts, unless you like the salty taste of tears in your pasta.

If you can’t bring yourself to spring for the pine nuts (cheapest at Costco), I’ve tried almonds and pecans a couple of times, it is definitely a different taste but still very good.


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Jeana S

Jeana S

Research lab rat turned travel mom, Jeana S writes about gadgets, tech, entertainment, weddings and of course, travel. When she's not using her powers for social good, she enjoys photography, cooking and playing robots with her son. On occasion, you may also find her crocheting cute things to hide in Ben's underwear drawer.

1 Comment

  1. January 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm — Reply

    This sounds delicious!!

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