Posted by: Anja | April 12, 2011

Broccoli, Walnut and Parmesan Pasta

First of all: This recipe needs improvement. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to put it up here, because it has potential. That said, let’s switch to off topics. I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking or baking recently because of too much lab time and too much temptation to go out to dinner instead of eating at home. Also, I don’t like eating a full meal at 10pm, which has been the time I have returned home recently.

Yeah, I know, I’m whining. Bla bla! :) I don’t care! Sometimes I need to whine and that’s what blogs are there for, right? They exist to express yourself and your opinions, so you can either read this or just skip directly to the bottom of this entry and read the recipe for the pasta.

… Still reading? Well, I’m done whining for today, focusing now on the food: It’s a lot of stuff mixed together and I think the recipe works as it is now, but you _have_ to drink something to go with it, because it’s too dry else. Therefore, I have a couple of suggestions at the bottom of this recipe on how to make it a little less dry. Also: If anyone tries this recipe, feel free to comment on it and tell me whether it worked for you or how you would change it.

Broccoli, Walnut and Parmesan Pasta
idea adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 medium onion
juice of 1/2 lemon
150g whole wheat pasta
100g broccoli florets
small handful of walnuts
5 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
black pepper
handful of grated parmesan

First step: Chop the onion and the broccoli to small pieces separately. In a large pan, roast the walnuts over medium heat. Put aside. Roast the breadcrumbs in the same pan for three or four minutes, set aside as well. Clean the pan. Heat water in a medium-sized pot until it boils.

Second step: Salt the pasta water and add the penne to the pot. While the pasta cooks, heat up the pan again to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the onion and let cook until onions are glassy, which should take about three to four minutes. Add the broccoli and let cook for another four minutes, stirring from time to time. Chop the walnuts to small pieces, but keep aside.

Third step: Drain the pasta and add to the large pan with the broccoli and the onion. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste, then add the breadcrumbs and walnuts and toss together so that those ingredients get evenly distributed. If you want to, add a little bit more olive oil and serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

Okay, here my suggestions: Replace the half onion with two spring onions, they are a little bit softer in flavor and I think it would fit better. Also, it really was a little bit too dry for me, so I’d add two or three tablespoons of butter next time. I know that’s not to everyone’s taste, I guess you could also use some more olive oil or canola oil, if you’re more up for that. Also, for my mac and cheese, I made parmesan breadcrumbs by combining some parmesan with breadcrumbs and butter, which I also liked a lot. Maybe that’s worth a shot as well. :)

Oh, by the way: The recipe makes enough for one person, but you’ll be barely able to move afterwards! :D



  1. I think your suggestions on how to improve it are spot on. It sounds like a really good recipe.

  2. 150g of pasta and 100g of broccoli… are you really sure that’s enough for one person? ;-)
    Regarding the improvement: how about adding some garlic and a bit of nutmeg?

  3. I hope I got the measurements right, because I actually never go around measuring exactly how much I’m using when I prepare pasta. It’s just like “a little bit of this and some more of this”, and then I just pour everything together. :)

    I think the original recipe suggested garlic and I guess it would work out, but I’d just add a small clove because it would be too overwhelming else. I’m not a big fan of nutmeg, so no comment on that. ;)

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