Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

 

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

I love broccoli and buy a head nearly every week. Sometimes I roast it, other times I turn it into a hot, cheesy soup but today I’m pairing it with Pancetta, that lovely Italian ham, some toasted pine nuts and a big grating of Reggiano Parmigiano. It’s a great combination of flavors and textures–crunchy nuts with salty pancetta, earthy broccoli and subtle almost sweet, grated cheese.

It’s super easy to throw together and if you have gluten free pasta you can make a gluten free masterpiece!

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

All the ingredients you’ll need. 

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Toast pine nuts over medium heat in a dry pan.

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Steam the chopped broccoli for 5 minutes.

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Add broccoli to the pasta.

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Chopped pancetta cooking in the pan.

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

Kitchen Princess Pasta!

Pasta with Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Broccoli

  • 1 head of organic broccoli
  • 6 ounces of pancetta or bacon
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, regular parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1 box of penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup of pasta water from the cooked pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and saute the pine nuts about 5 minutes or until they are beginning to brown.
  2. Trim the broccoli, peel the stems and chop into bite size pieces.
  3. Steam the broccoli in a steamer or boil for 5 minutes until crisp-tender.
  4. Dice the pancetta and saute in a large saute pan in the oil over medium high heat.  Add the garlic.
  5. When the pancetta is beginning to get brown, remove from the pan.
  6. Add the broccoli to the pan and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the chicken broth and the crushed red pepper flakes.
  7. Let the broccoli cook in the chicken broth for a few minutes but don’t let it get mushy.
  8. Add the pasta to the broccoli and add the reserved cup of pasta water.  Cook for a couple minutes so pasta can absorb some of the liquid.
  9. Add the reserved pancetta and garlic, the toasted pine nuts and the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  10. Enjoy!

Kate’s Tips

  • You can use bacon in place of the pancetta.  Even Italian sausage would be good.
  • Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese really makes a difference in this dish.
  • Here’s a couple more pasta dishes you may want to try: Perfect Pasta Salad and Raw, Vegan, Veggie Pasta Salad.
  • Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. Tracey says

    I have been eyeing this recipe for a while now. I finally made it to a town where I could purchase the ingredients! DELICIOUS! Loved it, loved it, loved it! Whole family loved it! Even the picky eater. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Maureen Eha says

    Hello, Friend!

    Once again, you created a winner! I have two complaints against this recipe, though: (1) it’s expensive to make; and (2) it requires lots of items that have to be washed after you use them (cutting board; steamer insert, pan, and lid; large saute pan and lid; pasta pot and lid; colander; cheese grater; and several utensils). The clean-up time is an issue for me because we don’t usually get to eat until late, and I’m too tired afterward to stand at the sink for a long time washing dishes. I’m wondering if it could be made as a one-pan meal in a deep electric skillet.

    That said, my family and I loved it! I used Coleman Applewood Smoked Bacon with no sugar and no preservatives instead of the pancetta, and it worked really well–no need for the grapeseed oil at all.

    I also reversed the order of the first few steps. I knew it would take a while to cut up the broccoli, so I did that first. That way I could brown the pine nuts and steam the broccoli at the same time.

    Instead of adding the bacon and pine nuts in with the mixture in the pan at the end, I placed the pasta/broccoli portion onto individual dinner plates, put the bacon (cut up into bite-size pieces) on top, sprinkled on the parmesan cheese and nuts–and served. It worked great. I actually surprised myself by having everything ready at the same time!

    The only thing I would do differently next time is use regular pepper instead of the crushed red pepper. The red pepper adds a wonderful zing to the dish, but my family likes their food more bland.

    Thanks once again for sharing from your terrific store of recipes! You’re a blessing.

    Maureen

    • Kate says

      I’m glad you liked it! There is a bit of prep and clean up but I think the results are worth it! I think the changes you made are perfect and it’s good to know the recipe is versatile enough to make it fit what each family needs. :)

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