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November 10, 2015

Pasta with Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon and Broccoli

Post by heartfoodie

I’m not a fan of broccoli (gasp), but you can put just about anything in pasta, lemon and cheese and it will taste good, right? This recipe is my mother-in-law’s speciality but with a twist, a Greek one.  I added lemon juice and zest to give the pasta a bit of zip, toasted Italian breadcrumbs for some crunch and stretched out the olive oil with reserved pasta water.  Simple to make, delicious and good for you.

Why is this good food good for you?

  1. Whole grain pasta vs. white pasta. Brown pasta is whole grain and enriched with fatty clearing fiber. It has fewer calories, less fat and more protein than white pasta. I like the fiber rich pasta like the Primo GrainWise or Catelli Smart brands; they taste delicious like regular white pasta.
  2. Extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat thataccording to the Mayo Clinic can help lower your cholesterol. High in healthy fats and calories, we still consume it in moderations. I used olive oil for this dish because I didn’t need to cook it to get great flavour.

  3. Broccoli is rich in the compound called sulforaphane that helps prevent plaque to form and block arteries. On top of that, broccoli is high in fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol. Eat more broccoli.

Skip ahead to the nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe.


340 g fibre-rich Spaghetti (or other heart healthy pasta)
2 heads chopped broccoli (florets and stalk)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 sliced (or minced) garlic cloves
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste.
grated parmesan cheese (to serve)

8 Easy Steps (Instructions):


Step 1: Start by cooking pasta by following instructions on the container.

Step 2: While pasta cooks heat a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Toast breadcrumbs by occasionally stirring. Once brown and aromatic, remove from heat and set aside.


Step 3: In a bowl, whisk together, garlic, lemon juice, zest and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.


Step 4: In the last 90 seconds of pasta being ready, throw in chopped broccoli.

Step 5: Before draining, reserve some pasta water. Drain pasta and broccoli.

Step 6: Add reserved water to the olive oil mixture.


Step 7: Add pasta and broccoli back into the pot and add the olive oil, lemon mixture and parsley. Toss to coat evenly.


Step 8: When ready to serve, add breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and toss again.

Enjoy! Nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe here.