food 4 tots

Broccoli and bow-tie pasta

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Recipe for Broccoli and Bow-tie Pasta

Source: Adapted and modified: The Parsley Thief (originated from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)

Serve: 1.5 – 2

90g bow tie pasta (farfalle)
100g broccoli florets (about ½ head)
15g pine nuts or pignoli (toasted) – optional (note 2)
5g freshly grated Parmesan cheese – optional

Seasonings for the sauce:
2 tsp butter (about 10g)
2 tsp extra light virgin olive oil
2/3 tsp garlic (minced)
½ tsp grated lemon zest/ 1 tsp heapful julienned and minced lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli florets for 3 minutes. Do not overcook it. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside. (note 1)
  2. In the same water, cook the bow tie pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well and add to the broccoli.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan/ skillet, heat the butter and olive oil until the butter is melted. Add garlic and lemon zest. Cook over medium low heat for 1 minute.
  4. Off the heat, add salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Pour the sauce over the pasta and broccoli. Toss well and season to taste (with extra salt and pepper).
  6. Divide the pasta between 2 shallow bowls. Serve warm. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and pine nuts (if using) just before eating.


  1. If you want to retain the green colour of the broccoli, use shocking method. (meaning remove them quickly from the boiling water, drain and plunge them into an ice bath for a few minutes as mentioned in this recipe.)
  2. How to toast pine nuts (pignoli) – place them in a dry pan, sauté over medium low heat and tossing often, for about 5 minutes until lightly brown. You can also substitute pine nuts with sunflower seeds.
  3. Meat eaters could add some cooked chicken, shrimp bacon, ham or sausages to this dish.
  4. If the pasta is dry, you can add some water (used for cooking pasta) or extra virgin olive oil. Alternatively, prepare a bit more of the sauce and keep the extra portion aside. Use it if necessary.


broccoli and bow-tie, bow-tie pasta, broccoli, food-4tots, Food For Tots, toddlers, kids

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  1. Mmmm! Love broccoli in pasta, this will definitely be appealing to anyone regardless of age!

  2. I’m with you for the addition of toasted pine nuts, and the moderate amount of cheese as well : ).

  3. celine says:

    my kind of meal – YAY!! can’t wait to make it tomorrow. thanks so much for sharing, LK! 🙂

  4. Love your colourful presentation, would like to add more texture with toasted pine nuts. A very heathly meal.

  5. So fresh and flavorful from the cheeses. This looks great!

  6. Anncoo says:

    This is a very healthy meal suitable for everyone at home 🙂 Yes I would like to add some cheese too!

  7. That’s a great idea to introduce broccoli at an early age. This dish looks delicious. I love broccoli with pasta.

  8. FoodieAnn says:

    I know broccoli is very healthy,,, But I haven;t yet acquired the taste….But the photo makes me want to grab some and eat it….:)

  9. mycookinghut says:

    Love this yummy bowl of paste.. you have put all my favourite ingredients 😉

  10. peachkins says:

    I never met a broccoli that I didn’t like but my daughter doesn’t like it..

  11. Joanne says:

    It is definitely funny how broccoli is so universally well-loved! This pasta dish looks delicious! So fresh-flavored.

  12. Alice says:

    Broccoli my all time favourite too! This pasta dish looks very appealing! 🙂

  13. tigerfish says:

    I also enjoy to have broccoli blanched or steamed 🙂

  14. I love your blog and would like to give you this award. Please drop by to collect it 😉

  15. looks great! I didn’t know children like broccoli. Have to keep this in mind.

  16. Goay says:

    Good sharing. Will try that. I try to cut the pasta in smaller size for my eldest daughter.

    • food-4tots says:

      Goay: Thanks for dropping by! Hope it suits your daughter’s palate. For this recipe, I use mini bow-tie pasta which is manageable for toddlers above 2.5 years old. 😉

  17. noobcook says:

    This looks so fresh, delectable, healthy and wholesome!

  18. sweetlife says:

    great spring dish, my kiddos really enjoy broccoli!! lovely flavors


  19. Heather P says:

    I made this tonight and will definitely be making it again. I used spaghetti noodles instead of bow-ties. My daughter (23 months old) refuses any other shape of pasta except for spaghetti. Haha!

  20. Emma says:

    I tried this with my picky-eaters tonight, and they enjoyed it very much! I added some grilled chicken and black beans for protein, since they don’t get much as is. My husband and I enjoyed this as well, I’ll be making it again! 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Emma: Thanks for your kind feedback. Glad it suits your family’s taste bud. Your modified version sounds so healthy and is packed with nutrients. Great job, mommy!!!!

  21. janie says:

    I’d definitely try this. This is something I’m sure my tot will approve of and eat with gusto! Broccoli, parmesan and penne are among her all time faves. Will see how it goes…

  22. pearly says:

    Thanks! Finally, found a website that solves my headache when it comes to preparing meals for my kids!
    Is it fine to replace olive oil with normal vege oil?

  23. Pat says:

    I added shrimps in lieu of the pine nuts and it tasted just as great. Love the combination of butter, garlic and lemon! My three year old son begged for more! I hope to pack this as a road trip meal for brunch during our upcoming driving holiday. Have you tried serving this as a cold pasta dish? Thanks!

    • food-4tots says:

      Pat: Yes, it should be fine to serve as cold pasta. Make extra lemon sauce and pack it separately. Use it if the pasta turns dry. Alternatively, add a little bit of hot water during serving. As for the cheese, pack it separately and sprinkle on the pasta during serving. Hope you have a wonderful road trip!! 😉

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