Skip to content

Lemon Pasta with Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Beans

2012 October 17
by admin

“There’s nothing I love more than working all day in the yard and going out to eat afterwards,” my husband said to me this past weekend as he toweled off after a much deserved shower.


Dirty was an understatement.  The day started for me at about 5am.  I ran 15 miles or so, came home, and put on a pair of pants.  My husband and I hopped on our horses and went for an early morning ride while the sun burned off the dew.

Want to get dirty quickly?  Love on some horses.


They’ve grown their winter coats now (and we keep them natural-style…some people clip the heavy fur away).  They are soft like fuzzy bears but the thick coat holds the dirt.  Have you ever hugged a horse before?  Have you ever been hugged by a horse?  They wrap their necks around your body and you breathe in their delicious, homey, scent.


Immediately after our ride we got to work doing yard chores and worked all day in the yard.  As you can tell from Lucy’s attire, we’re gearing up for a birthday party around here and portions of it will take place outdoors.  We got filthy while moving around logs, hedge clippings, and of course horse poop itself.

And at the end of the day, my husband wanted to go out to eat.


I wanted to eat restaurant quality food at home.  I wanted to wash my hands (up to my elbows), kick off my boots, peel off my jeans, and make a nice, delicious dinner at home.  I didn’t want to shower, change clothes, have time to think about how badly my feet hurt, shave my legs, and drive to the big ol’ town down the road to find a restaurant.


Guess who won the constant debate this weekend?

Not me.  We ate this the next night.  This pasta dish combines the fresh and summery feel of a lemon sauce with the hardy winter veggies of cauliflower and broccoli.  I added some white beans in for protein and if you spy a piece of chicken in the photograph above that’s because I threw in a 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped chicken at the last minute as well.  That addition was so minuscule and unnecessary, though, that I’m not even putting it in as part of the recipe.

The pasta dish is flat out fantastic.  It is exactly what our bodies would have needed after a long, hard day of yard work.  It was quick to put together and used minimal dishes – exactly the factors I appreciate when I’m just trying to get dinner on the table.

Lemon Pasta with Broccoli and Cauliflower (adapted from Ina Garten)


Kosher salt
4 cups broccoli florets
4 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 pound pasta
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil (I used basil infused – any variety will work)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup pasta water
2 cups white beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Cook the broccoli and cauliflower for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same water, cook the pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the vegetables.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and lemon juice, beans, and reserved pasta water. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well.

  • Erin@theLawStudentsWife

    NOTHING like a hearty meal after a long day. This one is beautiful. Do you have particular noodles you choose for your different sauces? Or use what you have on hand? I’ve been experimenting and would love your thoughts!

    • branny

      It is campanelle pasta. I usually prefer whole wheat but this shape was too interesting not to try.

      • Erin@theLawStudentsWife

        You have to love those Italians! Who knew such creativity could be put into something that seems so simple?

  • Kate

    I have lemon olive oil that would be perfect with this!

  • Julia

    do you take the cauliflower out with the broccoli, or let it cook with the pasta?

    • branny

      Take them out together; sorry

  • Whitchick28

    That sounds good :-)