I have always liked broccoli (which in Italian are referred to as “broccoletti” to differentiate them from the big roman or purple broccoli), even as a child. Then again, I also used to like brussel sprouts, so I guess I was not a fussy child when it came to eating my veggies. Anyhow, this very easy pasta sauce is so tasty that it will be a winner even with the fussiest eaters. It is also a healthy dish as broccoli and pine nuts are very good for you. So, what are you waiting for? Just give it a try!
Ingredients for 4 persons:
3 broccoli florets
2 cloves of garlic, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 handful of pine nuts
1/3 glass milk
1 pinch salt
400 gms short pasta (I used pipette rigate/gomiti rigati)
Pecorino Romano thinly grated to serve
Ground pepper to serve
Clean and wash the broccoli florets and boil them in hot salty water until tender. When ready, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and keep aside. DO NOT discard the water in which you cooked the broccoli florets as you will need it both for the sauce and to cook your pasta in.
Put the halved garlic, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Then add the broccoli florets and mash them well with a wooden spoon or a potato masher.
Add salt, a couple of tablespoons of the broccoli water and the milk.
Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes creamy.
Put the pot with the broccoli water back on the fire (you might have to add some more water and adjust the salt) and use it to cook your pasta.
Cook the pipette rigate following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site, but drain it 1 minute before it is cooked as it will finish cooking together with the sauce. Put the drained pasta in the frying pan with the broccoli and pinenut sauce and mix well while cooking it on a slow flame for 1 or 2 minutes.
Serve with thinly grated Pecorino Romano and ground pepper on the top.
NOTE: if you have some sauce left over, it also makes a great side dish and it is a good and healthy alternative to the usual potato mash.
Giulietta @ Alterkitchen says
I wasn’t fussy with veggie, either… and I love broccoletti! This pasta looks delicious.. I’ll certainly give it a try!
Parsley Sage says
I’m a bit of a fussy veggie eater. Not for taste, but for texture. This is a good ‘de-textured’ veggie dish! I’m gonna give it a try this weekend 🙂 Thanks for sharing, buzzed!
No milk but anchovies and chili flakes in my version. And it used to be one of my favorite dish as a kid.
I think the reason why people don’t like broccoli is mostly that they are often not properly cooked. Here I see a lot of raw or almost raw broccoli: trust me you need to cook them a bit longer to get the good flavors out!
Beth Michelle says
I was never too fussy when it came to veggies, I love them! I love the pine nuts in this sauce. Looks amazing!
Sandra's Easy Cooking says
Manu this look amazing…unlike you I started enjoying broccoli later after I got my kids :)) but now I can eat them in any form and in any dish :)) Your pasta look very well dressed:)
Woww.. it looks soo creamy and yummy Manu.. wish i was your neighbor 😀
Kay Ecker says
Manu, this looks so simple and delicious. I recently made pesto and was figuring out what to do with the rest of the pine nuts and then saw your post. I’m def going to make this! Thanks for the inspiration:-)
[email protected] says
Lovely pasta dish, nice addition with the pine nut sauce. Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe!
Oh wow looks vibrant, flavorful and yum. Great pictorials too 🙂
Love pasta. Broccoli always has been a favorite. Your recipe sounds wonderful. Great photos.
Tina (PinayInTexas) says
Clarise and Cherlin both love broccoli…I’m sure they will be happy when I try this! Thanks for another yummy pasta recipe, Manu!
Buona! Questa tua versione con latte e pinoli è da copiare 🙂
I think I’ve started truly appreciating broccoli’s only a couple of years ago. The pasta looks yummy 🙂
[email protected] Bake Your Day says
This sounds awesome, the consistency of that sauce looks great!
Manu, this looks wonderful! I’m on a total pasta kick this week and this is exactly what I’m craving!
[email protected] says
What a smart way to use broccoli! I definately want to try this soon- I am bookmarking Manu!
Hi Manu! My whole family loves broccoli too and I can say that I’m very lucky that both my girls aren’t fussy when it comes to eating their greens but they’re when it comes to meat instead! LOL 😀
Nami @ Just One Cookbook says
Hi Manu! I was reading your post when you tweet #FF. Did you know I was here? j/k. I make exactly same pasta WITHOUT knowing this is somewhat authentic! I was so happy to see the ingredients and the way you cook….however… I never added pine nuts! I must try adding them so I can proudly say this recipe is from Italy. LOL. You are absolutely right – my kids who usually don’t like green veggies love this pasta. I should make this for tomorrow (oh actually today now)’s lunch!
Cool, we must be reading each other’s mind!!! hehehe I had no idea you were over here while I was #FFing (?????) you on Twitter!!! hehehe It’s so cool you make the same pasta too!!! <3
Hi Manu and Nami! I’m so sorry to interrupt your conversation but I saw this #FF on twitter here so I was thinking maybe both of you could help me 🙂
I’m a super noob to twitter! Although I’ve got an acct. but I seldom login there as I find it very confusing about all these #FF, @, #F1 etc… what do they mean actually?
Hehehe no problem Lyn! I do not know all the “codes” myself… Just a few: @ followed by the name of the person is the receiver of your message. #FF means “follow forever: and it is a way of showing support to the people you follow and RT is retweet (when you re tweet something said by others)… That’s all I know… hope it helps! <3
ann proffitt says
was very nice
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
You’d never have to force me to eat my broccoli. I’ve always loved it prepared any which way, especially in a creamy sauce like this.
[email protected] in disguise says
I LOVE broccoli..so I really can’t wait to try this one out
Thank you Manu for sharing
As weird as this may sound, I have a slight obsession with pine nuts! 🙂 They are just so delicious! I love whenever I have them out to eat… it’s like a little surprise when I bite into one!! lol This dish will definitely be a keeper for me!
Oh, what a wonderful pasta dish…it looks amazing in that blue rimmed bowl. Manu, you’ve done it again 🙂
Hester Casey - Alchemy says
You liked brussels sprout as a child? I bet they weren’t boiled to soggy mush tho! I swore I wouldn’t eat another bite of mushy broccoli either once I was a grown up but then I discovered that lightly cooked it could be incredibly good and even food of the gods when turned into this divine sauce. Manu, you are amazing!
Ciao Manuela, piacere di conoscere te e il tuo blog ! E’ una ricetta fantastica,adoro i broccoli, me la segno subito! Aggiungo il tuo blog nel mio speciale blogroll ” cucinare in altre lingue”,passa a trovarmi, mi farà piacere!
The broccoli-pine nut combo sounds amazing Manu! Thanks for sharing!!!
I never made broccoli pesto .. but would love to give it a try. Pesto is one of my fav sauce with pasta . 🙂
Parsley Sage says
Oh man. Just made this. Love!
Did you???? Ohh I am soooo happy you liked it!!!! <3
The Mistress of Spices says
Delicious!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to get my hands on some broccoli and make this! Thanks for sharing, Manuela.
Moore or Less Cooking Food Blog says
This looks so yummy, so happy I found your blog! Nettie
This pasta dish looks delicious. Can I replace the pine nuts with walnuts (I currently don’t have pine nuts at home)? Will it alter the flavor?
Hi Candice! Go for it! The taste will be slightly different (walnuts are a bit “bitter”), but I think it will work quite well! You can also not put any nuts in it (that’s how my mum makes it). 🙂 Enjoy and let me know!!