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Broccoli, bacon and pine nut pasta sauce

broccoli, bacon and pine nut pasta

broccoli, bacon and pine nut pasta

One of the greatest food disappointments in my life has been my inability to digest pasta dishes with tomato based sauces. I struggle with gluten, I struggle with concentrated tomato.

However, from adversity comes opportunity. 

Finding a gluten free pasta that fulfils my pasta expectations has been a bit of a challenge. I almost gave up but improvements in gluten free commercial products in the past few years means now there are now some good products available. My first choice of gluten free pasta is “Garofalo,” imported from Italy. It is made with quinoa, corn and rice into interesting short shapes. Casarecce and Mafalda Corta are my favourite sauce catching shapes. If I want a long pasta like spaghetti or tagliatelle, San Remo brand from the supermarket works for me.

Thinking about green sauce rather than red has taken me in some interesting directions. From my cookbook shelf “Lorenza’s Pasta” by Lorenza de’Medici published 20 plus years ago, has provided the inspiration for many experiments which have ultimately become staples in my kitchen, especially Zucchini, Salmon and Dill Cream Sauce.  This Broccoli and Bacon sauce has had many incarnations. Both are quick to prepare and make a delicious nutritious meal.

Sauteed bacon gives a deep smoky flavour, the broccoli florets and pine nuts, colour and crunch, while the undervalued broccoli stems, peeled, cooked and pureed with some olive oil added provide the basis for a light dressing to deliciously coat the pasta. Pepper and parmesan we add at the table. 

Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Sauce  – for 2

3 large heads of broccoli

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons garlic infused olive oil

200g short loin bacon, trimmed and diced

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

250g short pasta

freshly ground black pepper

grated parmesan cheese

extra virgin olive oil

Cut the florets from the broccoli, divide into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Peel and roughly chop the broccoli stems. Put them into a small saucepan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and boil until soft, about 10 mins. 

Drain the stems keeping a little water aside.

Puree the cooked stems with the olive oil, garlic oil and just enough cooking water to make a sauce the consistency of mayonnaise.

Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta. 

While the pasta cooks saute the bacon and drain off any excess fat.

Add the broccoli florets to the pasta pot for the final 3 minutes of cooking time.

Drain the pasta and broccoli then toss together with the bacon, pine nuts and broccoli stem sauce.

After you serve the pasta, immediately drizzle with a little good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Offer freshly cracked black pepper and grated parmesan cheese at the table.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

26 comments on “Broccoli, bacon and pine nut pasta sauce

  1. Karen
    May 23, 2018

    Your dish brings back nice memories. My mother-in-law used to make a very similar dish only with aavatelli pasta. I can certainly attest to how good it is.

    Like

  2. Glenda
    May 17, 2018

    Hi Sandra. This is a classic and great combo which I love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa @ cheergerm
    May 15, 2018

    A delicious sounding pasta and I will have to search out that Italian brand, the gf Barilla is my fave latest gf pasta.

    Like

  4. chef mimi
    May 13, 2018

    It’s not only delicious but very pretty! I have a few Lorenza cookbooks and I love them!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 14, 2018

      Thanks Mimi. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a recipe from Lorenza’s book verbatim, but I find them very stimulating

      Like

  5. FrugalHausfrau
    May 12, 2018

    What a fun recipe, beautiful and fast enough for a weeknight! I think the stems are the best part of broccoli, btw!

    Like

  6. Sherry
    May 11, 2018

    this sounds very delicious sandra. we love broccoli in this household, so that would be great. my stomach is getting less tolerant of everything as i get older, sadly! I don’t eat a lot of pasta or tomatoes (you may have read about my dislike of the little red beasties) so this sauce would be a winner. phew the cold winds have started this morning… have a great weekend. cheers sherry x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 11, 2018

      Thanks Sherry. Ageing changes so much, who knew it would include diet. I’m loving the cool, really appeals to the Melbourne in me

      Like

  7. Francesca
    May 11, 2018

    I’m so pleased you’ve found a GF pasta that you like. It would be hard to exclude pasta from your diet. I like the way you have made a creamy sauce from pureed broccoli stems- great idea. I also love the stems. I’m growing a long stemmed broccoli in the garden that is less of a head, and more of those little side shoots which I prefer. The broccoli on offer down here at present tastes a little woody so I’m waiting for mine to get a move on.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 11, 2018

      I could live without pasta, Mr P loves it though so I still prepare it. I love the broccoli side shoots you see in the shops late winter, a much tastier variety

      Liked by 1 person

  8. chefkreso
    May 11, 2018

    Looks so delicious 🙂

    Like

  9. StefanGourmet
    May 10, 2018

    I often prepare pasta with broccoli and sometimes include pancetta. I peel and chop the stems and include them, but I like your idea of pureeing them. There are plenty of Italian pasta dishes ‘in bianco’. Often they include some milk or cream. Your recipe is very generous for just 2 servings.

    Like

  10. katechiconi
    May 10, 2018

    I love the stalks too, but at present they’re reserved for the Husband’s daily soups, as the Monash low FODMAP app states they’re high in fructose and I’m currently in the exclusion phase of the diet 😦 Never mind, you inspired me to make a GF pasta dish with chicken, broccoli and a cream and pesto sauce 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 10, 2018

      Good luck with the diet Kate, for me the hardest part was reintroduction. Some things I find I can eat only once every couple of days but not 2 days in a row and then lets not talk about cooking method, that throws you a whole new curved ball. The FODMAP diet was liberating for me but I’m still constantly on high alert after 5 yrs. Managing IBS is a life long challenge but I’m sure you know that already.

      Like

      • katechiconi
        May 10, 2018

        I knew some of the things I’d have to avoid after just 2 days, and sadly, they’re some of my favourites… I find the most challenging thing is that something’s a no-no in quantity A but perfectly fine in quantity B, and you have to learn which is which: 24g almond meal no, 12g yes… It would be so much easier with absolutes.

        Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      May 10, 2018

      PS That app is the best thing ever

      Like

      • katechiconi
        May 10, 2018

        The app is great, but I’m still at the stage where I’m asking “why?” a lot. Why are wonton skins OK if they’re made of wheat flour? Why can I have broccoli florets but not the stalks? Why are canned lentils OK but dried and cooked not? How am I ever going to eat out again without being able to eat onion or garlic? You get the picture.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        May 11, 2018

        I understand totally, it comes down to quantities and the chemical changes that occur during processing. Lentils don’t work for me at all canned as bad as any other. I find that after a while you don’t miss onion but it’s the hardest thing to avoid when eating out. Cobram garlic infused oil is a life saver. You’ll get the hang of it.

        Like

      • katechiconi
        May 11, 2018

        I’ve already discovered the onion problem, and it’s an issue because it’s one of the worst offenders. Love the Cobram garlic oil, I found that the other day and it’s a game changer!

        Like

  11. Gather and Graze
    May 10, 2018

    Love that you’ve used the broccoli stems to make the sauce Sandra… they’re the best bit, in my opinion! This sounds really lovely, as does the zucchini, salmon and dill cream pasta. Thanks for the pasta inspiration!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 10, 2018

      Thanks Margot, you’re welcome. I can’t fathom why people throw out the stems of broccoli, I love them in stir fry

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gather and Graze
        May 10, 2018

        I know… crazy! They obviously don’t know what they’re missing out on. I often try to hide them in the serving bowl, so that more is left for me! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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