Farfalle Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Pearl Onions

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Farfalle Pasta Salad

There are some cookbooks that I buy sight unseen.  Authors that I have so much confidence in that I don’t have to read the recipes or look at the pictures.  I know that I will find something to cook out of that book, and most likely, lots of things to cook out of the book.  One of those is Giada De Laurentiis.  When I received an email from Amazon that she had a new book coming out, Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner I preordered it, without hesitating.  As usual, she did not disappoint. 

Some people have criticized the book saying that there are too many pictures of Giada and her family, and that it could be better filled with more recipe photos.  I guess as a photographer, I found them just as interesting to look at, so that didn’t bother me. 


I was looking for a quick meatless pasta dish, and Farfalle Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Pearl Onions, fit the bill.  I didn’t have pearl onions, so I subbed a chopped onion.  What I liked about this dish is that I’ve had several pasta with broccoli combos before, and the addition of the beans here seemed to add substance.  I also didn’t have any cannellini beans so I used some cranberry from Rancho Gordo that I had cooked a big pot of and frozen in zip locks. 

Now, while this wasn’t freakishly outstanding, it was a good solid dinner.  It could easily be perked up with some hot peppers, maybe some shrimp, other veggies.

Farfalle Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Pearl Onions

  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used a little less)
  • 1 (12-ounce bag) of frozen pearl onions thawed (or sub one chopped onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 (15-ounce can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Grated zest and juice of two large lemons
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup chopped fresh chives

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook as directed on package, drain and place in a large serving bowl.

In a large dutch oven or saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cooking, stirring every once in a while until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and saute for about a minute.  Add 1/3 cup water and scrape up any browned bits.  Cover the pan and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the beans and warm through for a bout a minute.  Transfer this to the bowl with the pasta, add the cheese and toss with the pasta.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stir in the chives.  Pour this over the pasta and toss to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve.

Serves 4 to 6


This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Gillian of So So Simple Life

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  1. says

    Do we even need freakishly outstanding all the time? Sometimes, I just want a good tasty dinner. No bells and whistles. Just good. This is that.

  2. says

    Like you I preordered Giada’s book and was so excited to receive it. Broccoli and pasta is a weekly combo for me. Can’t believe I’ve never thought to add beans. Will have to do this one!

  3. says

    Fun pasta shapes always add to my enjoyment of any pasta dish. So glad you found yet another cookbook you “had” to have, since I’m not entirely certain you have enough!

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