This Broccoli Pasta Bake is a very tasty and homemade first course.
The broccoli with its unique pungent flavor is sweetened by the presence of the béchamel sauce and cheese.
An oven pasta that is easy and quick to make. 100% Meatless and so delicious!
The preparation consists of blanching the broccoli and then tossing it in a pan; in the same cooking water the pasta will be lowered and then mixed with all the other ingredients.
This will be enriched with béchamel sauce, parmesan cheese and lots of mozzarella cheese to make a super stringy dish.
A nice recipe with broccoli to make and remake many times, perfect for Sunday or a holiday, but so easy that it can be made on ordinary days as well.
Why I Love These This Broccoli Pasta Bake
As I said above, it is a super easy and quick dish to prepare!
It is a perfect dish for family dinners, the easiest way to get even the youngest kids to eat broccoli.
Super creamy: The béchamel sauce and mozzarella cheese create a delicious creaminess that you will love.
You can make it in advance: This is one of the many dishes I make when I have people over. I prepare it in the morning for the evening, then time for an appetizer and dinner is ready.
What Goes In This Broccoli Pasta Bake?
- Broccoli – This is the main ingredient in this recipe.
When purchasing, choose broccoli with narrow tops, green leaves and solid stems; dry tops or the presence of flowers indicate the old age of the product. Leaves should be meaty and crisp when broken.
- Pasta – For this recipe I chose fusilli. I like the shape and I think it is perfect for this recipe, but you can choose any pasta which you prefer.
- Garlic – As a good Italian, I often use garlic for many of my recipes.
I think garlic and broccoli go great together.
If you don’t like the taste of garlic, leave it whole and then remove it before mixing the pasta and broccoli together.
- Cherry tomatoes – The use of cherry tomatoes in this recipe is the way that my grandmother used to make it. I like the splash of color it gives to the dish, and also the sweetness that it adds.
- Olive oil – Always in my recipes as I love the flavor.
- Béchamel sauce – Another main ingredient in this recipe. It serves to mix everything together.
You can also buy the ready-made one, but the homemade one tastes totally different. If you want to make it at home, then I suggest you follow this super quick recipe for a super delicious béchamel sauce.
- Mozzarella – I used mozzarella for this recipe, one of my favorite cheeses, and it is perfect with the pasta.
You can also use cheedar cheese if you prefer.
- A generous grating of parmesan cheese for the top – The secret for that crispy crust of perfect baked pasta.
How To Make This Broccoli Pasta Bake
Prepare the béchamel and set it aside.
Below I explain the recipe for super quick microwave béchamel.
In the meantime boil the broccoli, in a pan with olive oil lightly brown the garlic and add the cherry tomatoes.
When the broccoli is soft transfer it from the pot to the pan. Remember you can use the same water where you cooked the broccoli for the pasta.
Let it cook for 10 minutes.
In the meantime we would cook the pasta super al dente and cut the mozzarella into cubes.
When the pasta is cooked we combine everything together: pasta, broccoli, béchamel sauce and mozzarella cheese and mix gently.
We transfer everything to a baking dish and finish with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and place in the oven.
More bake pasta:
Do you cook pasta before baking?
Yes, we can call it a pre-bake.
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water for half the cooking time that is on the package. It will continue cooking in the oven.
Be sure to make sure the pasta is super al dente, so as not to have a super soft and smushy pasta.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, you can also prepare it the day before. Store it in the refrigerator covered with foil. I recommend baking it before serving.
Can I freeze this pasta bake?
Yes, since I always make extra when I make this recipe, I have never had a problem freezing it.
You can put it in the oven directly from frozen. It will be ready in about 40 minutes, with the first 20 minutes I recommend leaving the foil on
Can I reheat this?
Yes, and I assure you it will taste even better. For me, oven pasta the day after always tastes better.
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- 1 Medium sized head of broccoli
- 3 ½ Cups of pasta ( I used fusilli )
- 3 Garlic gloves
- 10 Cherry tomatoes
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 ½ cups Béchamel Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups Mozzarella
- A generous grating of parmesan cheese for the top
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 Cups whole milk
- ¼ Cup + 1 tbsp plain flour
- 3 1/2 tablespoons. butter
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Make the béchamel sauce.
You can also use the packaged one, but in my opinion the homemade one is definitely better; I, of course, used my recipe below
Make the broccoli
- Remove the leaves from the broccoli, cut off the large central stem then divide into florets, rinse under fresh running water and allow to drain.
- Boil broccoli in salted water for about 10 minutes or until softened.
- In the meantime, clean the garlic from the soul ( this will serve to make the garlic more digestible) and cut it into slices.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes and dry them with a cloth ( so the oil does not splatter) and cut them in half.
- In a high-sided frying pan, put olive oil, when hot add garlic and lightly brown.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and cook them for about 3 minutes
- At this point the broccoli we boiled earlier should be ready. Using a ladle skimmer, we pass the broccoli from the pot to the pan. Add salt and pepper and stir in the cherry tomatoes and let everything cook for about 10 minutes on low heat.
Cut the mozzarella into cubes.
Cook the pasta
- In the water where you blanched the broccoli, toss the pasta and let it cook (you will need to drain it very al dente; it will finish cooking in the oven). About 5 minutes before the time indicated on the package, remove the pasta.
Preheat the oven to 190C/374F.
Make the bake pasta
- After draining the pasta, in the same pot. Mix the pasta with the broccoli, béchamel sauce and diced mozzarella cheese.
- Gently mix everything together, and place it in a high-sided baking dish.
- Add a generous grating of parmesan cheese, this will make that magnificent golden crust in the pasta.
- Place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Serve piping hot.
- I assure you that the garlic flavor will be very light, but if you really don't like it, instead of slicing it, leave it whole, and remove it before mixing the broccoli with the pasta.
- Pasta: I used fusilli, but you can use any short pasta you like, remember to cook it super al dente.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 896Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 920mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 4gSugar: 16gProtein: 33g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
You can store this pasta in the refrigerator for up to two days, to reheat it you can do it in the microwave but also in the oven.