We love this broccolini pasta recipe made with fresh, organic broccolini. I contest that being a scratch cook is possible mostly because we repeat familiar recipes frequently. Right now we are enjoying this dish at least once a week!
Broccolini is high in vitamin C and nutritionally dense
Broccolini is also an excellent source of vitamin A, folate and iron. It is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale), but has flavor that tastes like a combination of broccoli and asparagus. The original version of this recipe actually did call for asparagus, but when the short season for organic asparagus ended I substituted broccolini. We actually like this version even better. As a family of four, we are able to buy the large bag of organic broccolini available at our local Costco and make this recipe twice.
One of my favorite things about this dish is the addition of toasted almonds. For being vegetarian fare, the nuts add a unique, heartiness to the meal. Another perk is that the rest of the ingredients are shelf stable or long-lasting so it’s easy to keep the basics on hand. I also love this recipe because it cooks fast so dinner is ready in a flash.
Broccolini pasta with toasted almonds and brown butter
- 1 lb / pack fresh Justa Pasta penne or rigatoni (you can use dried pasta, but it just doesn’t compare)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 pounds fresh organic broccolini, bottoms trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces, florets cut smaller if needed
- 1 medium shallot, sliced thin
- 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 6 tablespoons organic butter, cut into six pieces
- 1 cup sliced almonds (you can buy them sliced, or you can chop up whole)
- 1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)
1. Prep ingredients, slicing broccolini, garlic and shallots.
2. Generously salt the water and bring to a boil. We freeze our fresh pasta so cooking time is around 6-8 minutes. If it is fresh (not frozen), 2-3 minutes. Ideally, time the cooking of the pasta with the finishing of the brown butter sauce below. Add pasta and cook according to directions, timing to be done when step 6 is complete.
3. Heat large pan on high heat. When hot, add olive oil and broccolini. Cook on high heat and sauté for about 4-5 minutes.
4. Add garlic, shallots and salt to taste, reduce heat to medium-high. Continue cooking, stirring often until broccolini is crisp, but tender to eat (to your taste).
5. Remove broccolini mixture from pan.
6. Return pan to heat (medium) and add butter. Cook for 30 seconds or so. Add almonds to pan. Cook, stirring frequently until butter is browned and almonds are toasted and fragrant. The butter turns very brown quickly so best to stop when it is just starting to turn.
7. Remove pan from heat. Add vinegar to the almond and butter mixture to deglaze the pan and stir. Mix the broccolini mixture back into the pan. Add Parmesan cheese to taste.
8. At this point, the pasta has cooked perfectly, has just been drained and is ready to add to a large serving bowl. Gently toss broccolini mixture and pasta. Serve and garnish with additional Parmesan if desired.
The leftovers from this meal are a great lunchtime treat. If we have a LOT leftover, we even re-heat it in the serving bowl in the oven, and it is great. Original inspiration for this recipe came from Cooks Illustrated.
In our home, we do not shy away from healthy fats including organic butter. We eat wheat pasta, but you could easily substitute your favorite rice or gluten free pasta in this dish.
Hyatt family eats are occasional posts devoted to sharing some of the things our family is cooking. We believe in a whole-foods, minimally-processed approach to nutrition that is realistic for a busy family of four.