I love trying new recipes so I’ll be sharing some favorites in our new series, Test Kitchen Tuesdays. The first recipe in this series is Penne with Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Ricotta from the cookbook The Mediterranean Cook by Meni Valle. It’s the perfect light summer pasta dish and it comes together quickly, which I love.


Ingredients (serves 4): 

14 oz penne

14 oz broccoli, broken into florets

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 oz pine nuts 

4 1/2 oz ricotta 

salt + pepper to taste

To serve: 

grated parmesan or pecorino

chili flakes (optional)

lemon zest (optional)

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. 

Meanwhile, bring another saucepan of water to a boil, add the broccoli and cook for just a few minutes, until tender but still with a light crunch. Drain and rinse the broccoli under cold running water to halt the cooking process and maintain its color, then set aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the pine nuts and sauté for another 2 minutes, then add the broccoli and stir to combine well. 

Drain the pasta and add it to the broccoli mixture, tossing well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir through the ricotta. 

Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, sprinkle with grated parmesan or pecorino, a few chili flakes and a little lemon zest (if using) and serve. 

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