This simple Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas is punchy and bright and comes together quickly and easily – on the table in under 30 minutes!  A tasty healthy weeknight dinner! With a Video.

Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas - punchy and bright and comes together quickly and easily - on the table in under 30 minutes!  A tasty healthy weeknight dinner! #spaghetti #broccolipasta #broccolini I part the out thrusting branches and come in beneath the blessed and the blessing trees. Though I am silent there is singing around me. Though I am dark there is vision around me. Though I am heavy there is flight around me. ~Wendall Berry 

We’ve been amping up our broccolini and broccoli intake lately, making a point to have it weekly.  Here’s a simple little pasta recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes that highlights this healthy veggie. Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas is fast, easy, flavorful and a snap to throw together on busy weeknights. We’ve been loving it and think you will too!

Spaghetti Broccolini ingredients

Broccolini Pasta with Preserved Lemon | 60-second video

What is broccolini anyways? 

Many think broccolini is just a younger version of broccoli but this is simply not the case. It is also not the same as broccoli rabe- another common misconception. Broccolini is actually a crossbreed between broccoli and Chinese broccoli- a leafy green – and the combination of the two gives broccolini its beautiful deep emerald color, long elegant stems and petite, condensed florets. Truly the stuff of enchanted broccoli forests…

There is much to love about broccolini; how it holds its lovely shape and color when cooked, that it cooks so darn quickly, and how packed full of vitamins and nutrients it is. And I’m hearing, that kids even like it a little better too because it is a little less bitter than regular broccoli.

boil the spaghetti

The recipe starts with cooking the spaghetti. My new obsession is this organic pasta from Italy, Monograno.  A little spendy but worth the splurge.

TIP: Measuring the water and salt– in this case 8 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt– will ensure that not only the pasta and broccolini are seasoned well, but that the reserved “pasta water” is seasoned well too – which affects the flavor of the finished dish. It’s a good ratio to remember when cooking any pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, prep your ingredients. Chop the shallot and garlic.

chopped garlic amd shallots

Split in half any broccolini that are bigger than a pencil thick.

prep the broccolini

Chop the preserved lemon if using. Feel free to sub lemon zest and lemon juice – but the preserved lemon will give it a delicious tangy briny flavor.

Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add the chili flakes.

If you are up for trying something new- these chili flakes – Aleppo and Urfa Biber are both sensational. Not too spicy, with fruity notes, and lots of flavor. Great in pasta!

We sell them at our Bowl and Pitcher store or you can find them online.

Or FEEL FREE to use regular chili flakes!

add chili flakes

If you happen to have sumac, add this as well- if not- just skip it.

Lately, we’ve taken to adding chickpeas, for extra fiber and protein,  but you can leave these out if you prefer.

When the spaghetti is al dente, add the broccolini to the pasta water.  Let it simmer until vibrant and just tender, 3 minutes or so.

add the broccolini to the pasta water

Drain, saving 1 cup of the pasta water.

add pasta water

Pour in the pasta, broccolini and hot pasta water into the pan and give a good toss.

Add the herbs and preserved lemon. Give a good toss!

Add in the pecorino. Taste and adjust salt, chili flakes and lemon (lemon juice or preserved lemon)  to your liking.

When it tastes just right, divide among bowls. This recipe will make 3 hearty servings.

On the homefront: A couple of weeks ago we migrated to Sedona. Truth be told, I had some reservations about spending more than a few days in the desert, because in the past it has felt too sparse for me, almost lonely. I guess I’m more of an ocean/forest person, but my husband really wanted to come here and explore the area.  So here we are for a couple of months and surprisingly, I’ve been wonderstruck from the very first day.

I’m not sure what it is about this place, but it feels otherworldly. Juniper forests seem to whisper quietly in the breeze speaking a language my mind doesn’t understand but my heart seems to remember.  The immense red rocks glow like they are on fire from the inside- radiating their healing light outwards. Everything in me wants to walk towards them.  It is as if I’ve been bewitched.

Oh. And we have a gentleman ghost in our house.  Another story, another time. 😉 

This simple Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas is punchy and bright and comes together quickly and easily - on the table in under 30 minutes!  A tasty healthy weeknight dinner! #spaghetti #broccolipasta #broccolini

Enjoy the Pasta with Broccolini and let us know what you think in the comments below.



More broccolini recipes you may like: 


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Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas - punchy and bright and comes together quickly and easily - on the table in under 30 minutes!  A tasty healthy weeknight dinner! #spaghetti #broccolipasta #broccolini

Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: pasta, main, vegetarian
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Pasta with Broccolini, Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas – a punchy, bright pasta recipe that comes together quickly and easily – on the table in under 30 minutes!  A tasty healthy weeknight dinner!


  • 8 cups water
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 1012 ounces broccolini, cut in half lengthwise ( or use regular broccoli see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 fat shallot, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo, Urfa Biber or regular chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 12 tablespoons preserved lemon, chopped (or sub lemon zest from one lemon)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 cup reserved hot pasta water
  • 12 tablespoons lemon juice (if not using preserved lemon)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup pecorino or parmesan
  • optional: additional 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt (measure both) to boil. Add spaghetti and simmer until al dente.  Add broccolini to the pasta water and cook 2-3 minutes, or until just tender and vibrant green. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute shallots and garlic 3-4 minutes until fragrant and tender. Add chili flakes,  sumac, preserved lemon ( or lemon zest), chickpeas if using, and salt and pepper. Saute 1-2 minutes, turn the heat off.

When the pasta and broccolini are done (save 1 cup pasta water)  add it to the garlic shallot mixture in the skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 cup hot pasta water, and give a good toss.  Taste.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like (especially if not using. the preserved lemons).

Toss in the fresh parsley and pecorino, taste again, and adjust salt, pepper and chili flakes.  You want to taste the salt and lemon, both. 😉  For extra richness, mix in another little drizzle of olive oil – or a little butter (my husband LOVES it this way).

Divide among bowls and enjoy.


Leftovers reheat well and will keep 3-4 days in the fridge.

If using regular broccoli, allow a couple of extra minutes of cooking time ( florets and stems tend to be bigger).


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 570
  • Sugar: 5.7 g
  • Sodium: 805.9 mg
  • Fat: 19.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 80.8 g
  • Fiber: 9.7 g
  • Protein: 20.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 9.8 mg

Keywords: pasta with broccolini, broccoli pasta, broccolini pasta, pasta with broccolini and chickpeas,

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

PNW Chef & 2018 Saveur Blog Awards Finalist! Welcome to FEASTING AT HOME where you’ll find hundreds of delicious, healthy, VEGGIE-powered recipes with tips and tricks from a chef’s home kitchen. A globally-inspired, seasonal, whole foods recipe blog to nurture body, mind and spirit. Join us!

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  1. Made this. Loved this. We did not have preserved lemon so we used lemon zest and lemon juice as you suggested. Cut the broccolini into bit sized pieces for easy eating with short pasta. Added a little butter and low-fat ricotta to finish it off. Will be making it again!

  2. What an incredible aroma when the preserved lemon and sumac hit the pan…

    I need to be more careful next time and not overcook the pasta. Gotta keep it al dente (or less) before adding it back to the pan.

  3. This was delicious! I had leftover roasted broccolini that I tossed in with the chickpeas and sauce. Added a tablespoon of butter to the oil when sauteeing the garlic and shallot for richness. This was quick to come together and my family loved it. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  4. Very fast to pull together–I used whole wheat pasta and only aleppo chilis, but next time will include the urfa biber or a little smoked olive oil for more complexity. While I usually roast broccolini, I really liked the sweetness of it when boiled (and the easier cleanup). I liked the chickpeas a lot in this!

    well played once again sylvia, another keeper.

  5. Wonderful Sylvia! Recipe is a keeper! Super easy and off the chart flavor!

    I stumbled onto some really great California olive oils so of course I finished the dish off with a little extra EVOO.

    If anyone hasn’t tried Sylvia’s preserved Meyer lemon recipe, please do. Super easy and adds tons of flavor to so many dishes.

    Thanks again!

  6. Delicious!!! And so easy. I love finding vegetarian recipes on your site that I can throw together without too much thought and make everyone at my table happy. 🙂

  7. Made a small version and love it. Used Ronzoni ancient grains pasta. Aleppo pepper, za’taar, cumin. Forgot pasta water so added a splash of Chardonnay and avoid drizzle of olive oil. Added some roasted chicken I had, no chickpeas. Preserved lemons made it special. I found them at World Market.

  8. Absolutely fabulous! Made this twice so far. No rabe/broccolini so I boiled up some turnip greens and continued as directed. I find that adding the preserved lemon and fresh grated cheese at the end really gives it a nice burst of flavor.

  9. This was the perfect family valentine dinner. Not too heavy and loaded with freshness and healthy veggies. Everyone loved it. We soaked our beans overnight, if you have the time they add a nice pop vs canned. Thanks for all your amazing recipes. (: from Sonoma, Cali

    1. Thanks Laura! Glad you gave this one a go- it’s a little unusual but one of my favorites! Love your neck of the woods…so beautiful!

  10. In the words of a famous chef:

    “MMMMMMMMmmmMmMm… Oh mah @$#%!… MMMmmMM…”

    I used a touch of sage and marjoram cause I didn’t have the red stuff and out of parsley.

  11. This is an excellent recipe! I didn’t have preserved lemon so I had to use regular, but luckily I did have lovely Urfa red pepper and sumac and I toasted a generous amount pine nuts to put on top. My family thought it was the best thing— and so did I— all the flavors of the lemon, garlic, chili, parsley, sumac,fresh Parmesan just create a really good balance with the pasta and broccolini. I wouldn’t change a thing although I am curious to try preserved lemon sometime if I can find it. I did add about a tablespoon of salted French butter at the end with the cheese as suggested.

    1. Thanks so much Eleanor!We sell a brand of preserved lemon at our Bowl and Pitcher Store, or it is very easy to make.

  12. Delicious! A big hit with all the family. I thought it tasted even better the next day when I had it for lunch. I added in 1/4 cup of cream to make it a bit more saucier.

  13. It’s my first time to use preserved lemons, and oooh, was this pasta dish good! Instant hit even with my picky 6 year old! I didn’t have broccolini, so I used spinach instead, and everything else called for in the recipe.

  14. I made something like this (used farfalle, just garlic and no chickpeas) but added a few dollops of chèvre to the pasta when I added the preserved lemons and it brought some additional creaminess to the dish that was great. Thanks.

  15. Went to bed thinking about this meal and was on my mind again soon after waking up. Says a lot for this dish.
    Thank you so much!

  16. I have never tried brocolini before and now I am in LOVE!
    Oh it so good! Sylvia you are excellent at explaining exactly how to cook it perfectly! I had a bottle of preserved lemons on my pantry that I was excited to try. I had never tasted them before and I was curious. I am not sure I like them now that I have tried them. (Sorry Sam I Am) I think lemon zest would have been better. Overall this is a good recipe. The directions, like the 1 Tbls of salt to pasta water and the spice measurements were spot on. I am vegan and didn’t want to add the cheese so I made some cashew alfredo sauce that was lovely. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Love. Loved it so much made it a second time this week. This time subbed some asparagus for some of the broccolini and threw in a few shishito peppers, and added soft boiled eggs instead of chickpeas for protein. Versatile recipe!

  18. Such a fresh tasting, filling and inexpensive pasta dish! I was actually surprised with how flavorful pasta can be with such simple ingredients! I used lemon zest and juice instead of preserved lemon and the sumac is a must. Definitely have all the ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking because it comes together super fast.

  19. It was so perfect that this recipe was featured in your email on the day my mom gave me some preserved lemons that she made! A simple, fresh tasting and delicious dish. And I was glad to have a use for the jar of sumac that sits rarely used in my spice drawer.

  20. Made this last night. It was fast and easy. I loved the addition of allepo pepper and sumac, both spices are in my pantry, but I’ll admit I don’t use them often enough. We skipped out of the preserved lemon (not my fave – are they supposed to taste a little musty?) and increased the amount of pasta to appease my teenagers. Everyone says this is a keeper – even my garbanzo-hating 15 yo. Light and delicious! Thanks for another great recipe, Sylvia!!

  21. Brilliant, tangy pasta. My husband who usually doesnt enjoy pasta, said OMG so good throughout:-D
    I skipped the chickpeas since I didn’t have them, made it with lemon zest and juice and also used gluten free pasta. It was perfect, a repeat for sure 🙂