Trees and Dirt: Quickie Broccoli Pasta

Prep Time:2 mins, Cook Time: 12 mins , Total Time: 14 mins

July 10, 2014

Eat Your Veg | Wholewheat Broccoli Pasta

I love a quickie mid-week dinner. Something that can be knocked up in less than thirty minutes yet’s wholesome, sustaining and contains a good wad of veggies. This pasta dish can be made in a mere fourteen minutes and uses only one pan, hence some sort of variant of it gets made pretty often around here! Broccoli is our current veggie of choice, or ‘trees’ as both my kids still like to call the florets. Well it’s a fave for the moment anyway, until invariably they change their minds yet again. And especially handy that it virtually always turns up in my weekly veg box from local Skylark Organics. Whilst my kids love a proper roux cheese sauce with their pasta (see my Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese Bake) when time’s short I employ a little cheat. Simply creme fraiche, grated mature Cheddar cheese, a little mustard, lemon juice and some pasta water run through the cooked broccoli and pasta. It’s a damned good quickie alternative!

Pasta’s always a good option for speedy mid-weekers but of late I’ve been trying to give the white refined stuff a bit of a miss. Not always, but for at least fifty percent of our pasta consumption which is actually quite a lot. The first few times Jacques had wholewheat pasta he was convinced it was ‘dirty’, hilariously asking me repeatedly if I’d dropped in on the floor. Which obviously does’t say much about the cleanliness of our kitchen floor. Luckily he’s stopped asking now and just chows down. He loves his pasta. And Frannie’s never even noticed the difference!.

Incidentally most supermarkets stock at least two types of wholewheat pasta, believe me I’ve done the rounds. But Sainsbury’s definitely come out tops with the most extensive selection by far.  I know most people are a bit sniffy about going wholemeal with pasta, but it’s actually a good deal tastier than you might think. Give it a chance, I’m actually starting to prefer it to the white stuff now. White refined pasta has had all it’s goodness stripped away and without the fibre of the original grain turns to sugar very quickly in the digestive system. Thus causing highs and lows of blood sugar and cravings for more sugar and carbs. Wholewheat pasta has the fibre and nutrients still intact and releases sugars more slowly and makes you feel full for longer.

For other speedy dinners do check out my Mid-Week Wonder or Pasta pages. And if you’re in need of further inspiration then bob over to the Vanesther’s recent Family Foodies Fab Fast Food round up.

I’m entering my post to a couple of bloggie challenges: 

Broccoli Pasta Challenge Logos

1) To Ren Behan’s Simple and In Season which this month’s being hosted by My Custard Pie.

2) To Jac of Tinned TomatoesPasta Please event which this month has the theme Healthier/Lighter and’s being hosted by Dannii over at Hungry Healthy Happy.

3) To Shaheen from Allotment to Kitchen’s Eat Your Greens challenge as this is a great way to get the little folk (and big folk!) to eat more greenage.

Eat Your Veg | Broccoli Pasta

The Good Stuff:

Wholewheat Pasta, Broccoli

Great For:

Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Family Dinners, Mid-Week Wonders, Quick, Easy, Broccoli Fans, Pasta Fiends


Serves a Family of Four

Special Equipment:

Just a saucepan!

Trees and Dirt: Quickie Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients Prep Time:2 mins, Cook Time: 12 mins , Total Time: 14 mins

For a Family of Four:
200g wholewheat pasta
250g broccoli, washed and cut into florets
2 heaped tablespoons half fat creme fraiche
2 tablespoons retained pasta water
80g mature Cheddar cheese
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 squeeze lemon juice
salt and pepper

1) Cook the pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan for a couple of minutes before adding the broccoli florets and continue to simmer until the pasta and broccoli are both tender. Usually about 12 minutes in total.
2) Drain the water, retaining some for the sauce.
3) Stir through the creme fraiche, 2 tablespoons of the pasta water, grated cheese, mustard, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper (no salt for under 3s).

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6 thoughts on “Trees and Dirt: Quickie Broccoli Pasta

  1. Janice

    Ha! my boys used to call them trees too, we eat a lot of broccoli and I was pleased to see it down to 49p for a great big stem of the stuff today. Making Broccoli soup tomorrow 🙂



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