Like Tenderstem®, pasta is quick to cook, so you can have a midweek meal ready in minutes. And when it’s all wrapped up in a silky, rich sauce, you want that little crunch and nutty flavour that only Tenderstem® can provide.
Why does Tenderstem® broccoli and Pasta work so Well Together?
Tenderstem®’s crunch provides a contrasting texture to pasta, which is why the two ingredients work so well together. Not only that, but Tenderstem®’s unique flavour is perfect for a creamy, cheesy pasta sauce (such as this delicious recipe for spaghetti), and Tenderstem®'s rich green colour never fails to bring a meal to life.
Pasta and broccoli recipes are such a favourite because of pasta's versatility. From a light summer pasta salad with Tenderstem® broccoli to a hearty lasagna or pasta stew, it’s easy to cook up a delicious meal with pasta and broccoli all year round.
Interestingly, according to Harold McGee in his book On Food and Cooking, broccoli first arose in Italy, so it makes sense that the Italians found a use for it alongside their national dish of pasta. And using Tenderstem® is a tasty and healthy upgrade from broccoli. Japanese scientists took the best parts of broccoli and Chinese kale and naturally fused them together using classical plant-breeding techniques to make the Tenderstem® we love today.
What is the best Type of Pasta to cook with Tenderstem® Broccoli?
Traditionally, certain types of pasta are always served up with a particular sauce. While there is an almost endless amount of pasta shapes, these can generally be categorised under four main types of pasta:
- Long, thin pasta such as spaghetti or tagliatelle often work best in creamy or seafood sauces
- Shell and tube shaped pasta such as penne, rigatoni and orecchiette is perfect for serving with a thick, tomato sauce in which it can scoop up all the flavour and chunky bits of vegetables or meat
- Twist shaped pasta such as fusilli is ideal for serving with thinner sauces such as a pesto that will cling to every inch of pasta
- Filled pasta such as tortellini and ravioli are traditionally served with a fairly plain butter or oil sauce to intensify the flavour of the filling
But what is the best type of pasta for Tenderstem® broccoli?
Fortunately, Tenderstem® is versatile enough to be paired up with most types of pasta. You can pair it with spaghetti or tagliatelle in a rich creamy sauce, chopped up in a thick tomato sauce served with penne or as a topping on a green pesto and fusilli recipe.
If you wanted to fill tortellini or ravioli shapes with Tenderstem® broccoli, you could blend the Tenderstem® spears as part of the filling and keep the delicate florets for serving alongside the pasta which will help make the dish look great too.
How to Cook Tenderstem® Broccoli for Pasta?
- Boil Tenderstem® Broccoli for 3-4 Minutes – You can add Tenderstem® broccoli to your pasta for the final few minutes of cooking just to warm it through enough without losing its bite before adding it to your sauce directly with the pasta.
- Roast Tenderstem® Broccoli for 12-15 Minutes - Perfect for bringing out all of the super flavours of your Tenderstem® broccoli
- Griddle Tenderstem® Broccoli for 8-10 Minutes – Achieve a slightly charred texture from a griddle pan, which will intensify the nutty flavour
- Steam Tenderstem® Broccoli for 3-4 Minutes – Steaming will bring out the brilliant colour of Tenderstem® and warm it through without losing any of the crunch
Can You Use Frozen Tenderstem® Broccoli in Pasta Recipes?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli in any pasta recipe if you don't have it fresh. Frozen broccoli is especially good for stews and soups. It's always worth having some Frozen Tenderstem® in your freezer just in case! Click here for tips on how to cook Tenderstem broccoli® from frozen.
6 of the Best Pasta Broccoli Recipes Using Tenderstem®
Here’s a selection of our favourite broccoli pasta recipes using Tenderstem® and a variety of pasta shapes.
A fresh pesto doesn’t take too much time to make and the results are so much better when it’s homemade, providing this vegan friendly recipe with a huge amount of flavour. The basil pesto clings to the fusilli perfectly and the dish is supercharged with green vegetables to make it super healthy as well.
Another vegan pasta dish is this Tuscan style rigatoni recipe using cannellini beans to make a creamy sauce. Topped with walnuts, chilli flakes and perfectly cooked Tenderstem® broccoli, this is a bowl of pure joy.
For a super simple supper, sit down to a some spaghetti, topped with Tenderstem® broccoli and dressed with chilli, garlic and parmesan cheese. Ready in minutes and still bursting with satisfying flavours.
A creamy fennel sauce with pork sausage and Tenderstem® broccoli makes this a rich and filling meal that you’ll be wanting to make time and time again. Using classic flavour combinations of fennel and pork in a creamy sauce, you can’t really go wrong with this recipe.
Scoop up prawns and chunks of Tenderstem® broccoli with orecchiette pasta in this easy to cook recipe. Simple ingredients, but the flavour speaks for itself and it’ll all be ready to eat in no more than fifteen minutes.
Do you want to really step up your home cooking? If you’ve got friends to impress or just like to challenge yourself, this recipe is a real showstopper. Delicious sea trout is served with a creamy scallop velouté, scallop tortellini and some vibrant Tenderstem® broccoli gives the dish a punch of colour and a crunchy texture.