Pasta with Broccoli, Walnuts and Bacon

It is important to have a well-heated serving dish ready as pasta cools quickly.


  • 675 g/ lb calabrese broccoli
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 225 g/8 oz rindless smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 350 g/12 oz pasta shapes
  • 75 g/3 oz walnuts, roughly chopped
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
  • salt
  • black pepper


Break the broccoli up into small florets. Discard any thick stalks likely to be tough and slice up the remaining stalks into small pieces. Steam or boil the broccoli for 3-6 minutes, until just tender and bright green. Rinse with cold water and leave on one side.

Peel the garlic and chop finely. Slice the bacon rashers crossways into small pieces. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. While the water is coming to the boil, put the olive oil into a largish, heavy-based saucepan over a fairly high heat, add the bacon pieces and stir around until crisp. Then add the chopped garlic and remove from the heat.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 7-10 minutes, until al dente. When the pasta is nearly ready, put the saucepan containing the bacon back over a medium heat, add the broccoli and walnuts and stir for 2 or 3 minutes just to reheat the broccoli. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Drain the pasta well, turn it into a heated serving dish and stir in the broccoli and bacon mixture, with all of its flavourful fat. Serve with grated Parmesan.