For a long time when he was a baby and little guy Trey HATED broccoli. He was horrified every time it made an appearance on the dinner table. At some point I made this lemon broccoli pasta and he decided he actually loved lemon broccoli. But only lemon broccoli. To this day if people ask him if he likes broccoli he says “No, I only like lemon broccoli.” Which completely baffles most people since he doesn’t offer any additional details. Hopefully this pasta might convert any broccoli haters you have in your life!
To make the lemon broccoli you quickly saute garlic and crushed chilis in olive oil in a skillet. Then add in the broccoli and about 1/4 cup of water to “steam” the broccoli for 5 minutes. I like to chop the broccoli in small florets so it cooks quickly and because kids don’t seem to like “chunks” of anything. Once the broccoli is a texture you like, add in the lemon juice and lemon zest. At this point you have lemon broccoli which can be added to the pasta or served as a side dish (add a little salt if serving as a side dish).
This recipe can be made with or without vegan sausage. I love Field Roast sausage, which is strange because before I became a vegetarian I absolutely hated sausage. The smell, the texture and grease…I am on the verge of gagging writing this. But the Field Roast sausage is hearty, savory and adds a great texture to this pasta recipe. If you have family members who don’t like meat replacements you can easily leave this on the side. I saute the Field Roast separately so it gets nice and crisp and I don’t have to worry about burning the garlic in the broccoli.
If you want to make your own veg sausage here is a recipe from Julie Hasson that is fantastic.
Once the broccoli is prepared you toss it with the cooked pasta, salt and sausage. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add more salt or lemon juice depending on your taste.
This is a great weeknight meal as it all comes together in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. Please give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
- 1 lb pasta
- 4 Vegan Italian Sausages (see note), sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 TB Olive Oil (divided)
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- ½ - 1 tsp chili flakes (depending on your spice preferences)
- 3 cups chopped Broccoli Florets
- ¼ cup Water
- 3 TB Lemon Juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ - 1 tsp salt
- Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside once cooking is complete.
- While the water is coming to a boil and you cook your pasta prepare the broccoli and vegan sausage.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip sausage slices over and cook for another 3 minutes, until browned. Set aside.
- Add 2 tsp of olive oil to a medium sized skillet on Medium High heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add chili flakes. Add in broccoli florets and ¼ cup water. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium. After 5 minutes check broccoli. It should be bright green and fork tender. Set aside.
- Add cooked, drained pasta to a large bowl. Toss in cooked broccoli, browned sausage, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add more salt, more chili flakes and/or more lemon juice depending on your preferences.