Broccoli with Penne, Garlic, Chilli and Pine Nuts

Broccoli with Penne Rigate Garlic Chilli and Pine Nuts

If you want a meal for the family that is healthy and nutritious you can’t go past this Broccoli dish. It’s fresh, quick to cook and serve. And simply delicious and refreshing. Accompany with a freshly dressed salad. It might even get your children eating those ‘little green trees’! The crisp crumbled Prosciutto, Pangrattato, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese make this dish rather special. Obviously, if you’re vegetarian, omit the prosciutto. Give it a go tonight! Ciao. Sylvia x

300g-350g Broccoli cut into small florets
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
150g-200g good quality Penne Rigate pasta
2-3 garlic cloves peeled, finely sliced
3-5cm piece dry red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 teaspoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prosciutto slices crisped in the oven at 150˚C for 10-15 mins. crumbled (optional)
Pangrattato or crushed croutons
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated Pecorino or Grana Padano Parmesan to serve


  • Steam or blanch the broccoli in salted boiling water until al-dente . Remove with slotted spoon. Cool. Drain. Set aside.
  • Re-use this water to cook the pasta until al-dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a frypan. Add garlic. Cook over medium-low heat until garlic is fragrant and just turns to pale golden, but not brown!
  • Lower heat. Add the chilli (optional). Stir.
  • Add broccoli. Stir to coat with other ingredients.
  • Add a knob or two of butter and a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water to moisten.
  • Taste for seasoning. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired.
  • Once pasta is cooked, add it to the pan with the broccoli mixture. Stir well to combine.
  • Serve immediately in pasta bowls. Dress with a little extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add the remaining ingredients on top and you’re done!

Accompany with a dressed mixed leaf salad. Buon appetito!

I cooked this dish often as part of our lunchtime blackboard menu. It was a favourite with our diners at our boutique country restaurant and hotel The Peacock Inn, Suffolk, England. I served the broccoli on bruschetta or with our handmade egg pasta of the day. Easy enough for our young apprentice to serve. We still enjoy this meal to this day.

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