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Herbed Broccoli Pasta

Herbed Broccoli Pasta from

It’s still early spring here in the Midwest — or is it late winter, given we had a car-covering snowfall Tuesday morning? — but I have a feeling that pasta is going to take center stage this season. So many of the dishes I’ve been noodling over, so to speak, have either started or ended with pasta being tossed into the mix.

It’s hard for me to resist that particular carb. When I can, I trrry to make sure to purchase a multi-grain version — or better, a gluten-free version — which makes me feel less guilty about the whole thing.

But healthy(ish) pasta or not, this dish is filled with heaps of healthy steamed broccoli — it’s just about in season, you know — and a garlicky saffron wine sauce that is slurped up by the pasta, seasoning it perfectly, while the saffron stains the pasta shells an amazing golden sunset. And then it’s all tossed with a hefty shower of fresh herbs, like flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, and cilantro.

Don’t forget the big squeeze of lemon at the end. Lemon makes everything savory positively amazing.

Herbed Broccoli Pasta from

I feel like my photos here really under-represent how lovely this broccoli pasta is. Strange afternoon light, I think, that my mad photography skillzzz could not overcome. (Oh wait, I said mad. I meant bad.) It’s a pasta dish that sits politely along side a carnivore entree, or, when you just want something that’s not heavy, but still comforting and spring-light.

Snail pasta is my new favorite pasta shape. I love how morsels of broccoli nestle right down into the shells, all comfy cozy. Each bite has just the right amount of pasta and veggies and spices.

Herbed Broccoli Pasta from

Weird light or no, one thing’s for sure, eating herbed broccoli pasta is much more satisfying than photographing it.

Now if the dang weather would cooperate so I could plant my broccoli seeds the garden, I’d be one happy broccoli-and-pasta-eatin’ girl.

Karen xo


Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Herbed Broccoli Pasta

Author: Karen Gibson


for the garlic saffron wine sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallot chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 big pinch saffron threads
  • kosher salt

for the broccoli pasta

  • 8 ounces Lumache snail shaped pasta (or any cup-shaped pasta)
  • 10 to 12 ounces broccoli cut into small florets, stems diced small (from a medium head)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons minced Parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced Cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced Tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon
  • additional olive oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


prepare the garlic saffron wine sauce:

  • Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Pour in the wine and increase heat to bring to a boil. Lower heat to maintain an active simmer. When the win has been reduced by half, add the stock. Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and scoop out a tablespoon of the wine mixture. Mix with the cornstarch to create a thin slurry. Add to the sauce pot, along with saffron threads and salt. Cook until sauce is smooth and deep yellow (it won't be thick, just opaque). Remove from heat and set aside.

prepare the broccoli pasta

  • Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Steam the broccoli for 2 to 3 minutes, until bright green but still firm. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet or cassoulet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the shallots, garlic, and mustard seeds, and cook until the shallots are translucent (just 2 to 3 minutes). Add the broccoli, red pepper flakes, and a big pinch of the herbs. Stir to coat. Dump in the pasta, another big pinch of herbs, a dash of salt and pepper and gently stir, working the broccoli pieces and herbs into the cups of the pasta.
  • Pour the saffron wine sauce over the pasta and stir. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice, and more herbs. The dish should be very well herbified. Taste a big forkful, and add more salt, pepper, herbs, and olive oil as desired.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Inspired by this recipe from Deborah Madison
Recipe Rating

Lisa Balakrishnan

Tuesday 16th of December 2014


In your instructions, I do not see where the saffron wine sauce is incorporated with the pasta preparation?


Tuesday 16th of December 2014

Hi Lisa,

There was a stray bit of HTML code in front of the sentence with the sauce that caused it not to display - I'm surprised it didn't break the entire page! Thanks for writing to let me know it was missing. :)

Carol at Wild Goose Tea

Saturday 19th of April 2014

Geez what a pleasant surprise to see a wine saffron sauce sitting there for this dish. That's special in my book. SNOW---OMG! I am sorry. You definitely NEED pasta. In my opinion forget stewing over the healthy part and just go for it! And this dish fits the bill.


Saturday 19th of April 2014

Karen, This looks so delicious, I think your photography skills are MAD not BAD for sure!


Saturday 19th of April 2014

This looks delicious... thanks for sharing a simple yet amazing looking recipe. I'll be trying this today!


Friday 18th of April 2014

Before I even started reading I was thinking "what a gorgeous photo!"