Penne with Broccoli and Cauliflower Recipe

January 11th, 2009  | Print this page Print This Article

This is another healthy recipe, perfect for those of you who fancy losing a few of those extra pounds you gained over the Christmas period.  Both the broccoli and cauliflower are excellent detox ingredients, while the chilli is great for releasing endorphines - those natural feel good chemicals in your body.  Garlic is a great ingredient too, with detoxifying and antibiotic properties.  It’s also great for keeping away the vampires! :)

Broccoli & Cauliflower Pasta

Broccoli & Cauliflower Pasta

This already being the second week into January, you’ve probably broken all your resolutions, spent all your money on the sales, and are now feeling pretty depressed what with all the doom and gloom about the recession, job cuts, and so on.  Still you can cheer yourself up by at least feeding yourself well, can’t you?

Oh, and a tip which sounds so obvious but is so important.  It’s really easy to overcook pasta but the key to this and any other pasta recipe is to not overcook it.  This honestly makes the different between “just a pasta dish” and a great pasta dish.

And another thing!  I’ve used penne here, but I’m sure any other similar shaped pasta such as fusilli would work just fine.  This recipe is also my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, being held over at The Backyard Pizzeria.

Penne with Broccoli and Cauliflower Recipe - Ingredients

Note:  I’m not going to give quantities here for most things; it ruins the experience.  Just cook how much pasta you need (how many people are you feeding?) and throw in a half dozen or so broccoli florets and the same of cauliflower.

  • Penne (or similar pasta)
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 Red Chilli (deseeded if preferred), cut into thin strips
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan, to taste
  • Parsley, to garnish

Penne with Broccoli and Cauliflower Recipe - Method

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  Throw in the broccoli and cauliflower and cook until slightly softened (a couple minutes or so).  When cooked remove and put in a large bowl.
  2. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet (in boiling, salted water until al dente).  Re-use the water from the broccoli / cauliflower.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a good glug of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and chilli.  Turn off the heat just before the garlic starts to brown.
  4. When the pasta is ready drain and put in the bowl with the broccoli / cauliflower.  Use a little of the cooking water to moisten the pasta.
  5. Season well.  Add the oil, garlic and chilli mix and toss around until all is combined; you could add some chopped parsley at this stage, too.
  6. Place into bowls with a good sprinkling of parmesan.  Enjoy!
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36 Responses to “Penne with Broccoli and Cauliflower Recipe”

  1. Soma says:

    Like this, I often use Broccoli with pasta, my little one loves it! Never tried cauliflower with pasta, tho’ this veggie often takes a prime place on our table.

  2. Antonia says:

    Similarly I often put broccoli and chilli together in pasta but never cauliflower. It sounds interesting so I’ll have to give it a try next time I have some spare.

  3. Alexx says:

    This looks delicious, and is very veg-box friendly!

  4. Pepy says:

    This is looking great, Scott!

  5. mycookinghut says:

    Great recipe! I love all the ingredients that you use. And with the ‘detox’ word, I think I will get some broccoli tomorrow!

  6. Jess says:

    i love your website! it’s always so wholesome. =D

    • scott says:

      Thanks! The wholesomeness isn’t always present (I love indulgence as much as the next man) but it certainly seems to be at the moment. Gotta shed some of those Christmas pounds ;)

  7. Malcolm says:

    Sounds great - it’s like a combination of my 2 favourite pasta dishes. One is pasta with green sauce - this sauce is made by cooking broccoli and then making it into a paste in the food processor with addition of olive oil and garlic. My other favourite is to simply heat olive oil in small pan then add garlic and chopped chilli, stir it for a few moments to flavour the oil, then pour it over the cooked pasta to coat it thoroughly. So this combination of those 2 things will be great!

    • scott says:

      The second sounds very similar to (if not the same as) a “Spaghetti Aglio, olio e peperoncino”. I’m actually planning to blog about it fairly soon so I fully agree with you that it is delicious!

  8. Scott, freeform recipes are perfect this month after all the measuring and formulas involved in Christmas baking. Cole crops combine beautifully with garlic and chiles, so I know this is delicious. I’m keeping it in mind for the arrival of our next csa box.

  9. rowena says:

    Something new to learn as I did not know both vegetables were good detox ingredients. The chili “feel good factor” I do know about — and put it into everything from hot chocolate to pasta dishes.

  10. arfi says:

    I’m gaining weight NOW! Try to shape up, but the more I exercise the more I want to eat. HELP!!!

    • scott says:

      I’m here to help. The key, I’m sure, is to fill yourself up with veggies which are practically calorie free. I say that as a theory since I can’t stick to it myself ;)

  11. Toni says:

    Not a bad idea for a vegetarian recipe. I gotta admit, I am still a meat guy though! :(

  12. Celine says:

    Oooh I love the combination of broccoli and cauliflower. Plus the pasta - I’m drooling! Happy new year Scott!

  13. Francesca says:

    Hi, I ‘m an italian living in rome and I make this pasta dish all the time when I long for something tasty and have only ten minutes to cook it. Just wanted to share my own trick: I throw the broccoli in the boiling water with pasta and cook them together, This way the broccoli softens and crumbles into a creamy sauce. Drain well, then sprinkle it with LOTS of pecorino romano and, for those who like the combo, use a couple of anchovies and mix it all together. Truly tasty and no fuss at all!

  14. peabody says:

    Eat this and then you will have room for dessert. ;)
    Looks good.

  15. jo says:

    Interesting recipe even though I’ve yet to try brocolli with pasta. Actually I’m currently on a no carb 2 week diet, trying to loose at least 3 -4 kilos.

  16. Sounds like a great use for the cauliflower i have sitting in the fridge. Love the simplicity!

  17. Michelle says:

    Ahem, are you saying I’m not sticking to my diet? This recipe might just come in handy. It’s nice to see healthy recipes in the blogosphere too, not just ooey gooey chocolate things!

  18. Jeanne says:

    That looks fantastic! I’m always looking for non-creamy pasta recipes and this one’s a winner :)

    • scott says:

      I’m going through a bit of a pasta phase myself right now; pregnant wife doesn’t always have the appetite for a full meal and I just want to cook something quick for myself…

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