Marin Mama Cooks Broccoli Lemon Pasta

Looking for an easy, family friendly, one-bowl pasta dish?  Look no further because this pasta fits the bill.  This is my weekly go-to pasta because it’s super easy to make (I could literally make this blindfolded) and it’s a one-bowl meal. It’s one of those pastas that my kids request often and I happily make.  It’s our family’s favorite comfort food.

Zoe often brings the leftovers to school for lunch and I now have to pack a huge container as all her friends all want a forkful 🙂  This pasta is the dinner of choice at all sleepovers.  You have to believe this is good if a bunch of 12 year olds are preferring a bowl of broccoli pasta to pizza!
Broccoli Lemon Pasta:

recipe from Barefoot Contessa
serves 6

  • 4 broccoli heads – use as much broccoli as you want here, the more the merrier
  • 1 box of your favorite pasta – we like to use cellentani
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 garlic cloves)
  • zest of 1 to 2 lemons  – the recipe calls for the zest of 1 lemon but we like to use 2
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper (for the grown ups)
  • optional – 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts

I love to prep all my ingredients ahead of time so they are ready to go when needed.  Wash and chop up the broccoli into small florets, zest the lemon/lemons, mince the garlic and squeeze your 1 tablespoon lemon juice; set aside in small bowls.  I put the lemon zest and minced garlic into the same bowl because they both get used together later.  Get out a small glass measuring cup and add the 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Put your broccoli in a steamer over about and inch of water (or however you steam your broccoli), you can also blanch the broccoli in the boiling pasta water for about 3 minutes if you want.  Put the lid on and steam away.  I like to steam my broccoli while the pasta water is cooking so I get it out of the way.  We like our broccoli to be a bit underdone so it has a bit of a crunch.  You want to make sure not to overcook or undercook it.  Once my broccoli is cooked, I pour it in a bowl and put it aside.
Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for about 1 minute.
Pour this mixture into the glass measuring cup (that the salt is in) and then add in the tablespoon of lemon juice, mix the ingredients together.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl that the broccoli is in.  Add the lemon mixture (see above) and mix everything up together really well so all the pasta and broccoli is coated with the lemon mixture.
Serve the pasta up into individual bowls.  I make sure that each bowl gets a good amount of broccoli and then I add the pasta.  I top the kids pasta off with some freshly grated parmesan and I add freshly ground pepper and toasted pine nuts to John’s & my bowl.
The pepper just adds a bit of flavor and the pine nuts add a nice nutty crunch.

 The broccoli tastes amazing as the lemon gives it such a nice flavor and takes away the bitterness.  I can honestly say that I’m not the biggest broccoli fan when it’s just steamed, but I can eat a whole bowl of broccoli when its made this way.
You might even want to make this lemon sauce and just add it to a mess of broccoli one night.

My kids rate this dish a 10!
I hope this pasta becomes a family favorite in your house.

Did you know that organic broccoli is on sale this week at Paradise?  It’s the perfect reason to give this recipe a try.

Check out my blog at Marin Mama Cooks for more great family friendly and healthy recipes.

Kale is the new green

Marin Mama Cooks

Hi everyone! I’m Jackie of Marin Mama Cooks, and I’m here to share some nutritional facts on kale as well as some delicious kale recipes that will not only get you eating kale, but also get you to love kale.  Paradise Foods is helping you out this week by offering organic curly green kale on special this week for only $1.99 a bunch.  That is one great deal folks, so make sure you take advantage of it as it will not only benefit your wallet but your health as well 🙂

We all know dark and leafy greens & vegetables are nutritious, but kale stands a head above the rest. It’s one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which is one of the antioxidants believed to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease and certain age-related chronic diseases.  One cup of kale has only 36 calories and zero grams of fat, which makes it a great diet aid and that one little cup also provides a whopping dose of vitamins A, C and K.

Kale is also an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium.  Eating kale is a great and easy way for women to get their calcium in, especially if they are not big fans of dairy.  There are so many different varieties of kale out there so you have lots to choose from.  Below are the two types I eat the most, lacinato/dinosaur kale and curly kale (the one that is on special this week).

Kale is high in protein, which is probably why I can sometimes eat one to two bunches of kale and call it dinner.  It’s also high in fiber so it helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and keep you full for a good amount of time.

Kale has so many other nutritional benefits that I could go on and on, but I’m not a nutritionist.  So, lets just end this nutritional post by saying that kale is “king” among the vegetables and call it day.  Sound good?

The Marin IJ, recently interviewed me for my blog, and the first question that the interviewer asked me was, “what’s your obsession with kale?”  I laughed, (you know that kind of snicker laugh that John Travolta does in the movie Grease) because I honestly didn’t think I was obsessed with kale.  I mean, I have a few kale recipes posted, but nothing to over the top.  Do six recipes equate a kale obsession?  Maybe they do, but I don’t care.  I would rather be obsessed with kale than obsessed with chocolate, (well, I am a bit obsessed with that as well, but that’s another post).  I thought I would share with you some of my favorite kale recipes!  All you have to do to view the recipes is click on the link below the picture and it will take you directly to the recipe on my website.

green smoothies

lacinato kale salad

vegan kale, cranberry, apple & toasted almond salad

kale salad with tahini & lemon dressing

I hope that these recipes inspire you to give kale a try.  If you do try one of these recipes, please comment below or at my blog and let me know how you liked them.

Don’t have time to make one of these delicious kale salads or smoothies?  No worries, Paradise has you covered as they have a delicious freshly prepared kale salad in their deli case.  Want to make your dinner plans even easier?  Paradise has opened their outdoor grill for the season so you can grab some grilled chicken, ribs or steak to go along with that salad.  Now, how easy is that?

Marin Mama signing off by saying cheers to you and your health!