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.
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!
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.
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.
Split in half any broccolini that are bigger than a pencil thick.
Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add the chili flakes.
We sell them at our Bowl and Pitcher store or you can find them online.
Or FEEL FREE to use regular 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.
Drain, saving 1 cup of the 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!
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. 😉
Enjoy the Pasta with Broccolini and let us know what you think in the comments below.
More broccolini recipes you may like:
- Zaatar Chicken (or tofu) with Green Tahini Sauce & Broccolini
- Tofu Stir-Fry with Broccolini and Mushrooms
- Garlic Chili Tofu with Sesame Broccolini
- Vegetarian Eggs Benedict w/ Broccolini and Meyer Lemon Hollandaise
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
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 10–12 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)
- 1–2 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
- 1–2 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).
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