Creamy Broccoli Pasta

Creamy Broccoli Pasta
I’ve been thinking about Pasta alla Norcina, a traditional pasta which originates from the town of Norcia from the region of Umbria in Italy. It’s a delicious creamy pasta with sausage and often a touch of nutmeg. Me though, I’m always in the mood for something with broccoli and had everything on hand to bring a spinoff to life - fried pancetta, garlic, broccoli, cream, nutmeg, cheese and chives, and it was everything I craved. Matt suggested adding some mushrooms would be great, and I said that would be treading a little too close to Rosé Pasta territory, but I agree, some Swiss Browns would be welcome.


  • 150g unsmoked pancetta, thinly sliced then cut into lardons
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g broccoli florets, cut into little pieces
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg, finely grated
  • 450g cream
  • 300g short pasta (rigatoni, large spirals and macaroni work well)
  • 65g Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • 10g chives, finely sliced


  1. Add pancetta to a large pan and drizzle over a little bit of olive oil to help it cook evenly.
  2. Cook pancetta over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the fat has melted and sizzled to golden brown.
  3. Remove to a bowl with slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add and quickly fry garlic until fragrant and beginning to brown.
  5. Add broccoli, nutmeg and cream and a good cracking of black pepper.
  6. Simmer until broccoli is tender.
  7. Meanwhile, cook pasta in salty, boiling water until al dente.
  8. Transfer pasta directly to the sauce with a splash of pasta water and toss to combine.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before adding pecorino, bit by bit, stirring each little addition in well before adding the next to incorporate it into the sauce (this avoids splitting and clumping)
  10. Stir through chives, taste and season, and serve.

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