Broccoli Walnut Pasta

Broccoli and walnut pasta
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  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
489 Calories
31g Fat
44g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 489
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 2032mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Protein 18g
Calcium 310mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is an easy one-dish dinner that's perfect for weeknights. If you're feeling extra wholesome, use whole wheat pasta – the broccoli and walnuts stand up to the heartier texture very well. You can start cooking the broccoli and toasting the walnuts while the pasta water boils and the pasta cooks.

Note that the broccoli in this recipe is cooked beyond the crisp-tender stage many health-conscious people have become used to. It still has plenty of vitamins in it, and the softer texture helps it become the "sauce" for the pasta. Try it to see the many flavors and uses of broccoli.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta shells, penne, or fusilli
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil and/or butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded pecorino, parmesan, or other hard grating cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender to the bite. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

  2. Meanwhile, trim the broccoli and separate the crowns into large florets. Cut the florets into smaller ones, about 1/2-inch across. Set aside. Peel and finely chop the garlic and set aside.

  3. Roughly chop the walnuts and spread them on a baking sheet or piece of foil and bake until toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Set a timer and check on them—walnuts go from toasted to burnt very quickly. Set the walnuts aside.

  4. In a large frying pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and/or butter, the broccoli, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli turns bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, if using, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  5. Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta-cooking water to the broccoli. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the broccoli in tender to the bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more pasta-cooking water if the pan gets dry.

  6. Add the drained pasta to the broccoli, toss to combine well. Add the walnuts and toss to combine. Add the cheese and toss to combine. Taste and add salt if you like. Serve hot, topped with more cheese.

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