There’s a time in every man’s life when he just needs to eat a bowl of broccoli. With pasta. It’s very unlikely that the little green tree is on many favourite food lists, but hey, it’s damn good for you. Right?
Soooo… what if you could make it taste good? That’s would be win-win, surely? I thought so too. This recipe actually took us a while to get right – but it is right.
‘Why would I eat a bowl of creamy broccoli pasta?’ I hear you ask. Well, aside from the myriad health benefits (and there really are a lot) it’s really quick – perfect for those short evenings after work. It’s also filling, satisfying and has a refreshing lemon tang to it – great for summer, or at least pretending it’s summer.
You can also change it how you like – its versatility is key here. Chuck in some olives, crumble over a bit of cheese (like feta) or add some roasted sunflower seeds for a smoky, juicy addition.
It’s reaaaaally easy to put together too – you can even use frozen broccoli to save time. Although frozen broccoli takes a couple of minutes longer to actually cook, you save so much time on prepping – there’s none to be done. Pro tip: don’t overcook your broccoli – not only does the texture become soft and bland but it loses nutritional power too.
Health Benefits – Creamy Broccoli Pasta
This page explains just about everything there is to know about broccoli – so I’ll try and put it in a nutshell (the info, not the broccoli). It contains notable levels of vitamin K, A, B1, B2, B3, B6, fibre, iron, zinc…the list goes on!
Each of those is much wanted by your body, and with them come some incredible pros – cancer prevention, better cardiovascular health through lowering of cholesterol, digestive support, antioxidant help…and that’s just the beginning. Sounds like it might just be worth eating now and then.
Broccoli is also a surprising source of protein – albeit as an incomplete one. It doesn’t contain all the amino acids needed to be considered as one, a bit of cheese (which is a complete source) your body can use it all together. You could also have the same effect by adding a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice. Awesome.
So man up, and eat some broccoli 😉
Creamy Broccoli Pasta
- 7 oz pasta (7 oz = 200g; e.g. tagliatelle or linguine)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups broccoli (2 cups = 400g; frozen is fine too)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup vegetable broth (½ cup = 120 ml)
- 4 oz cream cheese (4 oz = roughly 100g)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp chili flakes
Optional but awesome toppings:
- ¼ cup pitted black olives
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, pan fried
Bring water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
If you're using frozen broccoli, throw it in a pan right away with 3 tbsp of olive oil and cover with a lid - the broccoli thaws more quickly.
If using fresh, wash and cut the fresh broccoli into small florets. Next, peel and dice the onion; same with the cloves of garlic.
Heat up the olive oil in a pan, then add the broccoli, onion and garlic. On medium heat let everything simmer for 5 minutes.
Now it’s time to add the cream cheese.
Now slowly pour in the vegetable broth. NOTE: If you think the mixture is getting watery, stop pouring!
Once ready, drain the pasta in a sieve. Now add them to the broccoli cream mix. Cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes
Add salt, pepper and a few chili flakes to taste. To give it another kick, give a few splashes of lemon juice and a tsp of honey to the mix.