Broccoli Lemon Pasta – Kid rated a 10

Broccoli Lemon Pasta - Kid rated a 10Looking for an easy, family friendly, one-bowl pasta dish?  Look no further because this pasta fits the bill.  This is my weekly go-to pasta because it’s super easy to make (I could literally make this blindfolded) and it’s a one-bowl meal. It’s one of those pastas that my kids request often and I happily make.  It’s our family’s favorite comfort food.

Zoe often brings the leftovers to school for lunch and I now have to pack a huge container as all her friends all want a forkful.  This pasta is the dinner of choice at all sleepovers.  You have to believe this is good if a bunch of 12 year olds are preferring a bowl of broccoli pasta to pizza!

Broccoli Lemon Pasta:

recipe from Barefoot Contessa
serves 6

  • 4 broccoli heads or 3 bunches of baby broccoli – use as much broccoli as you want here, the more the merrier
  • 1 box of your favorite twisty pasta – we like to use cellentani
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 garlic cloves)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper (for the grown ups)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts or toasted walnuts

 

I love to prep all my ingredients ahead of time so they are ready to go when needed.  Wash and chop up the broccoli into small florets, zest the lemon, mince the garlic and squeeze your 1 tablespoon lemon juice; set aside in small bowls.  I put the lemon zest and minced garlic into the same bowl because they both get used together later.  Get out a small glass measuring cup and add the 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil for the pasta. Below are two ways to cook the broccoli.  Pick the one that works best for you.

Put your broccoli in a steamer over about and inch of water (or however you steam your broccoli). Put the lid on and steam away.  I like to steam my broccoli while the pasta water is cooking so I get it out of the way.  We like our broccoli to be a bit underdone so it has a bit of a crunch.  You want to make sure not to overcook or undercook it.  Once my broccoli is cooked, I pour it in a bowl and put it aside.

Here’s my new favorite way to cook up the broccoli or baby broccoli. I throw the broccoli in for the last minute of the pasta’s cooking time. So, if the pasta cooks for 8 minutes, I throw the broccoli in at 7 minutes and then drain the pasta and broccoli together.  NOTE:  If one minute seems too short then throw it in for the last two minutes.  One minute definitely works for baby broccoli and broccolini.  Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium low heat.   Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for about 1 minute.  Pour this mixture into the glass measuring cup (the one the salt is in) and then add in the tablespoon of lemon juice, mix the ingredients together.Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl that the broccoli is in.  Add the lemon mixture (see above) and mix everything up together really well so all the pasta and broccoli is coated with the lemon mixture.  Serve the pasta up into individual bowls.  I make sure that each bowl gets a good amount of broccoli and then I add the pasta.  I top the kids pasta off with some freshly shredded parmesan and I add freshly ground pepper and toasted pine nuts to John’s & my bowl.  The pepper just adds a bit of flavor and the pine nuts add a nice nutty almost meaty sort of crunch.

Broccoli Lemon Pasta - Kid rated a 10The kids rate this dish a 10!  The broccoli tastes amazing as the lemon gives it such a nice flavor and takes away the bitterness.  I can honestly say that I’m not the biggest broccoli fan when it’s just steamed, but I can eat a whole bowl of broccoli when its made this way.  You might even want to make this lemon sauce and just add it to a mess of broccoli one night.

I hope this pasta becomes a family favorite in your house.

Broccoli Lemon Pasta – Kid rated a 10

Broccoli Lemon Pasta – Kid rated a 10

Ingredients

  • 4 broccoli heads or 3 bunches of baby broccoli - use as much broccoli as you want here, the more the merrier
  • 1 box of your favorite twisty pasta - we like to use cellentani
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 garlic cloves)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper (for the grown ups)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts or walnuts

Instructions

Prep all of your ingredients. Wash and chop up the broccoli into small florets, zest the lemon, mince the garlic and squeeze your 1 tablespoon lemon juice; set aside in small bowls. I put the lemon zest and minced garlic into the same bowl because they both get used together later.

Get out a small glass measuring cup and add the 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside.

Below are two ways to cook the broccoli. Pick the one that works best for you.

Put your broccoli in a steamer over about and inch of water (or however you steam your broccoli). Put the lid on and steam away. I like to steam my broccoli while the pasta water is cooking so I get it out of the way. We like our broccoli to be a bit underdone so it has a bit of a crunch. You want to make sure not to overcook or undercook it. Once my broccoli is cooked, I pour it in a bowl and put it aside.

Here's my new favorite way to cook up the broccoli or baby broccoli. I throw the broccoli in for the last minute of the pasta's cooking time. So, if the pasta cooks for 8 minutes, I throw the broccoli in at 7 minutes and then drain the pasta and broccoli together. NOTE: If one minute seems too short then throw it in for the last two minutes. One minute definitely works for baby broccoli and broccolini.

Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for about 1 minute. Pour this mixture into the glass measuring cup (the one the salt is in) and then add in the tablespoon of lemon juice, mix the ingredients together.

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl that the broccoli is in. Add the lemon mixture (see above) and mix everything up together really well so all the pasta and broccoli is coated with the lemon mixture.

Serve the pasta up into individual bowls. I make sure that each bowl gets a good amount of broccoli and then I add the pasta. I top the kids pasta off with some freshly shredded parmesan and I add freshly ground pepper and toasted pine nuts to John's & my bowl. The pepper just adds a bit of flavor and the pine nuts add a nice nutty sort of meaty crunch.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2011/10/broccoli-lemon-pasta-kid-rated-10/
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{ 25 comments… add one }

  • Hilary Hamilton October 9, 2011, 1:50 am

    I’m going to try this one too. Marin Momma Cooks rocks!

    Reply
  • Anonymous March 5, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Made this for our family tonight. Delicious and definitely kid approved by my 7 and 5 year old!!

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn Grandy March 6, 2012, 12:08 am

    I am so glad you liked the pasta. I am actually making it for my kids tomorrow night. This was one of my first posts and I realize I need to update the photos. Thanks so much for visiting :)

    Reply
  • Robin September 6, 2012, 3:01 am

    I tried this tonight when I saw it on Meg’s comment section, and you are soooo right….this is DELISH! My entire family devoured it and it is completely GONE. Thank you! :-)

    Reply
  • Robin September 6, 2012, 3:02 am

    BTW, my kids are 8 (will eat anything) and 5 (pickiest eater ever). And they loved the broccoli.

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn Grandy September 6, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Hi Robin! Thanks for stopping by and giving this pasta a try. I’m so glad your kids loved it. I’m not a big broccoli fan on its own, but throw it in this pasta, and I’m hooked. My kids feel the same way and this was the dish that got my son to start eating broccoli. Gotta love that Barefoot!

    Reply
  • Danielle January 18, 2013, 1:05 am

    Alright! Am eating this right now and could not wait to tell you that I am a huge fan! We’ve been cooking from your blog all week and tried (and really enjoyed) your turkey burger recipe last night. Thank you for sharing your delicious eats!

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy January 18, 2013, 1:34 am

    Hey girl! I’m so happy that you’ve been eating from the blog all week and that you’re loving all of the recipes. That really makes me super duper happy! THANK YOU for trying the recipes. It’s always nice to hear from readers who actually cook from the blog, so I really appreciate that you keep in touch letting me know what you make. You and I really do eat and like the same stuff. I’m actually in the process of making up the broccoli lemon pasta for dinner and it smells so good. I found a quicker way to cook up the broccoli which I updated in the above the post. I’m also super psyched that you loved the turkey burgers. xoxo, Jackie

    Reply
  • Nithya Naveen February 26, 2013, 11:19 pm

    I am going to try this recipe today.. Pics looking stunning..

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy February 27, 2013, 12:25 am

    Thanks Nithya! This pasta is one of my family’s favorite easy weeknight pastas. Make sure you add the pine nuts, as they really give the dish a nice nutty crunch. :)

    Reply
  • Nithya Naveen March 1, 2013, 6:48 pm

    My family loved the pasta.. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.. Modified the recipe to my family taste buds and updated in my blog http://www.nithyasnalabagam.com/2013/02/broccoli-pasta.html

    Please check and let me know your comments

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy March 2, 2013, 3:34 pm

    Hi Nithya! I’m so glad you made and liked the recipe, and I’ll be sure to check out your site! Thanks :)

    Reply
  • Caitlin August 23, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Where have you been all my life!? Another FANTASTIC recipe this one may be my favorite! Even my 15th old is crazy about it.

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy August 23, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Yaay! Another winner recipe with your family. That makes me so happy to hear girl! This is the pasta that got my kids to like broccoli, so it’s been a family favorite for years and I hope it stays a family favorite in your house as well! I actually filmed a video of my girlfriend and I making this last night, but I forgot a few things in the video, so I have to do a re-shoot! Oh well ;) Have a great day Caitlin :) xoxo, Jackie

    Reply
  • Caitlin August 23, 2013, 8:02 pm

    You have a wonderful weekend Jackie!!!!!

    Reply
  • Emily3 August 24, 2013, 12:27 am

    Made this tonight — I had all ingredients on hand! Very tasty… My two little ones devoured the pasta, and the one who eats broccoli ate that too. Thanks for sharing another tasty recipe!

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy August 24, 2013, 3:11 am

    Hi Emily! Awesome news girl. I’m so glad that this was another hit recipe in your house. ;)

    Reply
  • Sara Hunniford September 24, 2013, 2:03 am

    Hi Jackie! Love your blog and reading up on your life since Roger Williams. You have a beautiful family and amazing job! This dish sounds so good. My girls will love it. Thanks so much! Sara

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy September 24, 2013, 2:34 am

    Hey Sara! Wow, it was so fun to see your name on the blog. I’m assuming that Bess mentioned my blog to you and I’m so happy that she did! Thanks Bess! Thanks for your sweet comment girl! I know your girls will love this dish. It’s one pasta dish that I can make for the pickiest kid and they end up loving it. Let me know how it turns out for you and thanks again for stopping by and saying hi! It’s so good to hear from you! :) xoxo, Jackie

    Reply
  • Jacki November 13, 2013, 11:49 pm

    Hi Jackie – I have two boys who can’t have pine nuts, or any nuts for that matter. What would you suggest I could use to substitute them for that extra something?
    Thanks – Jacki :)

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy November 13, 2013, 11:56 pm

    Hi Jacki! Hmmm….I’m not sure! My kids don’t like the pine nuts or any nuts really, so I never add the nuts to their pasta. I just toast up the nuts for John and I, and just top our bowls with the nuts. The pasta doesn’t need the nuts at all! I just like the extra texture, but most of the kids that come to my house eat the pasta sans the nuts. Does that help? :) xoxo, Jackie

    Reply
  • Lisa June 6, 2014, 1:35 am

    Super yum! Just made this and my 4 yr old loved it, even the pine nuts! My 1 yr old ate all of it too, though she picked around the broc, that’s cool she’s still developing her eating habits ;) Bonus, ny husband came home late and ate it cold and thought it was great too! Winner!

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy June 6, 2014, 5:59 pm

    Hi Lisa! Awesome news! I’m so glad that your family loved this pasta and even that your hubby gave it the thumbs up! Dinner success! xoxo, Jackie

    Reply
  • Anonymous July 20, 2014, 1:41 pm

    I’m going to try this one!

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy July 21, 2014, 10:36 pm

    I hope you like it! It’s a family favorite! xoxo, Jackie

    Reply

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