The word “broccoli” comes from the Italian broccolo, which roughly translates as “the flowering crest of a cabbage”. The brassica is native to the Mediterranean, engineered by early horticulturalists in Tuscany. Revered by Italian natives since the Roman era, the vegetable is so synonymous with lo Stivale that upon its arrival in England around the mid-18th century, broccoli was referred to as “Italian asparagus”. While broccoli is a cold-weather crop, we’ve given the vegetable a distinctly summery twist, featuring the fresh, green florets in our creamy lemon and chilli pepper sauce.
In this simple, summer sauce, we infuse cream with zesty lemon and warming chilli pepper. This vibrant, vegetarian sauce enrobes crisp tenderstem broccoli, and ribbons of fresh, rich pappardelle. While pappardelle is commonly paired with heavier meat ragús, we think it is the perfect accompaniment for our broccoli, lemon and chilli sauce, its long, flat strands perfect for sopping up every last drop of the zesty cream mixture.
Lemon pappardelle recipe
Prep time: 60 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Calories per serving: 436kcal
- 300-400g fresh pappardelle - for ingredients, see this simple pappardelle recipe
- 450g tender stem broccoli, halved lengthwise
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 250ml heavy cream
- 75g unsalted butter
- ½ chilli, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare your fresh pappardelle, following our simple pappardelle guide, or the below tutorial.
- Once your pasta is prepared, take a large pan and set it over medium heat. Add the unsalted butter, and gently heat until fully melted, and beginning to foam. Then, add the lemon juice and zest, and continue to cook until fragrant - allow enough time here for the zest to infuse, rendering a deliciously lemony butter. Add the finely chopped chilli and fry for a further minute or so.
- While the butter is infusing, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add the broccoli. Blanch for around 3 minutes, before straining and transferring to a bowl of icy water, to retain the broccoli’s green colour and crunch.
- Once the butter is fragrant, add the cream to the mixture and stir until well combined. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
- Heat a pot of generously salted water until boiling, before adding your fresh pappardelle. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente. Once cooked, strain the pasta, ensuring to reserve a little bit of the starchy cooking water.
- Add the pasta and the broccoli to the pan with the sauce, and gently toss to combine. Add as much or as little pasta water as is needed to achieve a luscious sauce, that clings to every strand of the pappardelle.
- Once fully coated and glossy, plate your pasta, and garnish with a generous helping of vegetarian hard cheese. Buon appetito!