Warm pasta, broccoli & bean salad with lemon, garlic and basil

2014-03-25 19.20.23
I love a warm salad.  The flavours are so much stronger when the dish is at room temperature rather than chilled, and partly cooking the ingredients allows each individual ingredient to shine.
This is such a delicious and healthy supper, we all really enjoy it and it’s a complete one pot meal so perfect for busy week night dinners.

Warm pasta, broccoli & bean salad with lemon, garlic and basil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Warm salad
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • Spray of olive oil / splash of water / stock
  • 350g wholemeal pasta – rigatoni, penne etc.
  • 1 smallish red onion, halved, then finely sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or microplaned
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 can / 250g cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 heaped tsp freshly grated / microplaned lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Large bunch of basil, finely shredded
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • A dozen or so Kalamata olives, to serve
  1. Put pasta on to boil.
  2. Steam the broccoli until just tender, about 6-7 mins. Once cooked, run under cold running water to refresh and retain colour.
  3. Put the onion, garlic and salt in a large heavy bottomed casserole with your choice of sautéing medium, mix thoroughly, and warm through on a low light for 5 minutes – do not COOK! The idea is to take the rawness out of the garlic but leave the onion still with some bite.
  4. Add a splash or two of vegetable stock as required to keep it moist but without stewing it.
  5. Add the beans, lemon juice and zest and continue to warm through for another few minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and keep on a low light whilst waiting for the pasta to cook. Once ingredients are all hot but not cooked, remove from the heat and tip into a large wide salad bowl along with the broccoli.
  7. Once pasta is cooked, tip into the bowl along with the basil and mix thoroughly. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes for the flavours to mingle.
  8. Top with olives and serve.