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Recipe for pasta bow ties with broccoli, white beans, pine nuts and feta {vegetarian}


When I was a little girl, I'd smother in ketchup anything I had to eat but didn't naturally love. As an adult, I prefer to do my smothering with good Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I wish I could say that I naturally love broccoli, but I don't, though over the years I've discovered ways I can get more broccoli into my diet; Chinese stir-fries and pasta recipes with lots of cheese top the list. This dish of pasta bow ties with broccoli, white beans, pine nuts and feta incorporates two cheeses along with a healthy portion of broccoli and white beans. The tang of lemon and a good pinch of fresh black pepper brighten the flavor. I could eat broccoli this way every day!


Pasta bow ties with broccoli, white beans, pine nuts and feta

From the pantry, you'll need: dried pasta, onion, garlic, oregano, cannellini beans, black olives, lemon, feta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, fresh black pepper.

Serves 4; can be doubled.


1/2 lb bow tie pasta (farfalle), or other shape
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 cups small broccoli florets
1-1/2 cups canned cannellini or small white beans, drained and rinsed
6 black olives, sliced
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tsp pine nuts
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper, or more to taste


Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a stock pot. When the water boils, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 10-11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Do not rinse. Set aside.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until the onion softens and begins to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and oregano, and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Increase the heat to medium, and add the broccoli. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes; the broccoli should be bright green, and not yet starting to brown. If the pan seems too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.

Stir in the beans, olives, lemon zest and juice, wine, cheeses and pine nuts. With a heat-proof rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir gently, to bring everything together, and let the mixture cook for 1 minute to bring the liquid in the pan to a boil. Add the cooked pasta, and, stirring frequently, cook for 1-2 minutes, until the parmesan cheese melts and the pasta is heated through. Taste, and season with black pepper.

Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Broccoli and cauliflower sformatino
Pasta with feta, basil, olives, fresh and slow-roasted tomatoes
Broccoli, basil and pasta salad
Pasta with shrmp, lemon, herbs and feta
Salmon, asparagus and lemon pasta

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Lemon infused pasta salad with fresh herbs and grilled asparagus, from Gluten-free Goddess
Chicken pasta with lemon parmesan sauce, from Eating Richly
Lemony kale pasta, from Annie's Eats
Macaroni with lemon, garlic, parmesan and mustard greens, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Broccoli pesto and fusilli pasta, from 101 Cookbooks

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Do you know the ONLY way I ever got my son to eat broccoli was by smothering it in Parmesan? And the only time he ate spinach was wrapped in filo with plenty of feta. So you have two of our favorite foods! Plus Mamma loves broccoli and white beans. The lemony sauce is perfect. This will be lunch this weekend. Love it!

My kids were good eaters, at least until they reached a certain age. They loved what they called 'Broccoli Cheese' that my mother made. Have to try this one to see if it passes the taste test for them as adults. Their children are a much harder sell...

Yes indeed. I could eat this every day too!

Jamie, some vegetables have always been a battle for me -- especially the cruciferous ones. But I'll eat almost anything with enough cheese on it, and that's how I got over my distaste for broccoli. I'm still working on Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, though!

Susan, I'm with your kids. Put cheese on it, and I'll eat all the broccoli you've got.

Kalyn, this dish has a low percentage of pasta compared to all of the other ingredients, so I think you'd really like it. The lemon and cheese together are great.

Cauliflower has never been high on my list of favorite veggies either... until I tried this easy roasted cauliflower recipe:

Chop some cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces. Toss in a bowl with just enough olive oil to coat, add some chopped garlic. Put in a casserole dish and bake uncovered at 400F for about 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower starts to get golden in spots. Sprinkle with some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and plain bread crumbs (I use wheat). Return to oven for another 5 minutes or so, just until cheese is melty and bread crumbs are toasty. Top with some chopped parsley for a more special look and serve. Yummy!

This is a great side dish when you want something fast and pretty darn easy. No measuring required, which means less dirty dishes for me!

This looks so good and I like that the pasta is minimal compared to all the other good stuff. Unfortunately, I will have to leave out the feta as hubby won't touch the stuff.

I am not a lover of broccoli but I have ways to add it that I enjoy as well. This would probably be one of them Lydia.

What a nice meatless meal - fortunately, my kids do like broccoli and cauliflower. In fact, I tried to dress up some steamed broccoli with some garlic red pepper olive oil, and two of the boys preferred the broccoli just plain. Even my oldest, who is the worst vegetable eater out of the gang, likes roasted cauliflower with potatoes, garlic and olive oil. That was a nice surprise.

Broccoli and cauliflower taste better with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, well almost anything tastes better with it. Yay! I'm able to comment again :)

Julikay2u, thanks for sharing your recipe. It would be great with broccoli, too, I'll bet.

CJ, just double up on the parmesan cheese!

Bellini, I know broccoli is good for us, but it's still not my favorite. I do love it in this recipe, though.

Jeanette, you *do* know how lucky you are, don't you? Broccoli was always a struggle in our house.

Ben, yay! Always nice to find you here. And yes, everything tastes better with Parm!

Well I love broccoli and of course any kind of cheese/pasta pairing is terrific by me. Add in pine nuts and lemons and I am just about drooling!

I would like to prepare this for guests, one of whom cannot drink alcohol. Is there a substitute for the white wine in this recipe? Or, could I cook the wine separately to cook out the alcohol before adding it to the other ingredients?

Julie, you can substitute vegetable broth (or chicken broth) for the wine. Note that the alcohol will cook out of the wine once the liquid is brought to the boil, but to be safe, just substitute broth.

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