This 3 ingredient, 30 minute meal will fill you up, get some greens on your plate and taste a little bit luxurious too. It’s as simple as roasting some broccoli and stirring in pasta and blue cheese – this is what weeknight dinner dreams are made of.
So, basically, the name of this recipe is also your shopping list. Broccoli. Blue cheese. Pasta. Just those 3 ingredients!
(That is assuming you have oil, salt and pepper at home. And, like, some water in your tap. If you want to get technical about the number of ingredients.)
This is a legit 3 ingredient meal
This recipe was born out of a need for very very simple dinners while we were dealing with a busy house move. There is loads you could add to this pasta to make it extra amazing (keep reading for some ideas) but the important thing is that you don’t have to. It is enough on its own.
Because 3 ingredient meals work when your players are strong and 1) Roasting broccoli gives it a huge flavor and texture upgrade, so the fact there’s “only” broccoli in here is not going to feel sad, and 2) Blue cheese is such a strong flavor, it can make a fantastic sauce all on its own with nothing else required.
… And a legit 30 minute meal
The process is genuinely so easy. You roast some broccoli florets in a large casserole dish. You then add some blue cheese and let it melt in the oven for a few minutes. You then toss some pasta into the dish until the cheese has coated everything and made it into a sauce.
It’s more “hack” than “recipe,” and if I weren’t a clueless Elder Millennial, I’d be putting this on Tik Tok. Since I don’t know how, I’m saving it for those of you who still appreciate this Old New Media.
You can use any kind of blue cheese…
I’ve tried a few and they all work, but you get a slightly different result with each.
Creamy blue cheeses, think gorgonzola style, are especially nice because you get a very creamy sauce as a result. I actually use a Scottish cheese called Strathdon Blue for this and it’s my fave.
But harder blue cheeses like stilton also work very well, you will just need a little pasta cooking water to get the sauce feeling saucy. They don’t get as creamy, and the dish can end up a little more oily, but the flavor comes through very well.
… And Any Kind of Pasta
I’ve made this with short (penne, fusilli, spiralli as pictured) and long (spaghetti, linguine) pastas and it’s always good. I do prefer the short pasta purely because it’s easier to mix into the pan with the broccoli and blue cheese at the end.
Building on the recipe
This is a great standalone meal, I promise! But if you’re not under pressure, or if you have other things lying around that need to be used up, it’s also very versatile as a starting point. The following are all ideas for things that can be added quite easily…
- Garlic and chili – just toss this in with the broccoli before you roast it
- Vegetarian sausages – they can roast with the broccoli
- Other roasted vegetables – drier veggies (cauliflower, sweet potato) can go in the pan with the broccoli, but more watery veggies (mushroom, zucchini) can go in a separate pan to be sure they won’t leach out any moisture onto the broccoli and interfere with its roasting.
- Frozen Peas – just drop them in with the pasta a few minutes before it’s finished boiling.
Please note that if you add extra ingredients, you’ll want to either (a) add more blue cheese or (b) reduce the amount of pasta. Otherwise, you are going to be stretching your blue cheese too thin.
Roasted Broccoli & Blue Cheese Pasta
- 1 head (600 g) broccoli, florets removed
- 8 oz (225 g) blue cheese, roughly chopped
- 10.5 oz pasta
- Lightly toss the broccoli florets in olive oil and add salt and pepper as desired. Place in the oven at 180C (360F) and set the timer for 20 minutes.
- Set the pasta cooking according to package instructions. (By the time the water has boiled and the pasta gets cooking, this usually puts you on course for the pasta being ready around the same time as the broccoli.)
- Once the broccoli has 5 minutes of cooking time left, open the oven and put the blue cheese on top. Return to the oven for those last few minutes so the cheese can melt.
- Reserve a mugful of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.
- Remove the broccoli from the oven, pour the pasta into the pan with the broccoli and use a wooden spoon to mix it all together. The blue cheese will continue to melt as it coats the hot pasta. It may clump up and get stringy – add splashes of the pasta cooking water as required to make the sauce silkier.