Fresh and filled with garden flavors, this Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese is one of our favorites!
I originally posted this recipe for Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese on the first recipe site I started in 1995. It wasn’t just a favorite recipe but one that came from a very old cookbook of my mom’s and I wanted to make sure I had it saved on my new online site…I have loved this dish for forever…seriously!
When I switched from that site to a WordPress blog, I made sure to bring this one over too and it’s been on the blog for years. Lost way back in the archives with horrid photos too, so I was happy this year to combine my love of this dish enough to make it again with some new photos that better relay to you how good it is, and how simple.
A pasta recipe combining broccoli, mushrooms and tomatoes seems in line with current trends that have seen pasta (and pizza) move from the realm of red sauce and meats to a variety of combinations that favor vegetables and what I consider a white sauce (typically made with olive oil and/or butter).
So it was surprising to find even 20 years ago a recipe in a cookbook that was my mother’s and is most likely from the late 50’s. Titled Pasta con Broccoli in the cookbook, it’s one of my all time favorites and I love that it’s SO old yet so current too! Most of the other recipes fall in line with expectations…lots of casseroles, jello desserts, and too many with canned ingredients; so this was special.
I now have the cookbook from Sacred Heart Parish in Florissant, MO in my library; it’s one of the few mementos from my childhood and I love that I actually love a dish made from it. It’s tattered and certainly worn and is typical of cookbooks put together by church groups. I think I must have ‘borrowed’ this from my mother many, many years ago and never returned it…oops!
It has seen better days too; bound with a red plastic spiral binder there are several pages missing from the back. But it’s one of those books you can neither give away or pitch in the trash…my kids can do that when I’m gone…but I still love seeing it in my cookbook library.
What’s amusing even to me is that I have never used it but for two recipes; both of which I love. This pasta and another one for this zucchini bread which I make every summer too.
The pasta is most fabulous during the summer with the freshest of ingredients from the garden. I had a nice head of broccoli from a neighbor and FINALLY some of my own cherry tomatoes had ripened on the vine, so it was time. Luckily I had just purchased a big box of mushrooms that I needed to use so I made it for dinner one night last week.
And I mean dinner…I didn’t serve it as a side, nope, just a big bowlful of what might be my favorite pasta. I’ll be honest, there is one ingredient not mentioned in that title that plays a big part. Butter. Lots and lots of butter. And more honestly…I LOVE it with all of that butter; it is the only sauce for this dish. But sometimes I will cut it in half and supplement the butter with an equal amount of olive oil, still delicious and I feel like it’s healthier but you know…it’s still fat and fat is flavor!
I’ve made one modification from the original recipe though. It calls for 1 pound of pasta and I think that is an LOT; I like a higher veggie to pasta ratio when I make it. As mentioned I’ll also cut back on the butter; the original recipe calls for 8 Tablespoons of butter which is a lot…delicious but a lot. So sometimes I’ll sub some butter out for olive oil, and sometimes I won’t, it all depends on the mood I’m in or if I’m having company and feel like indulging.
The only ingredients cooked in this pasta are the spaghetti and the broccoli. The mushrooms and tomatoes are layered in the bottom of the bowl and topped with the hot pasta and broccoli. Let them sit for a couple of minutes and you get warm tomatoes and barely cooked mushrooms; we don’t want them mushy despite their name! Add the butter, some lemon juice, and Parmesan and you’re done.
I simply love this combination of ingredients; you must try it while garden tomatoes are so prolific!
Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets
- 12 oz thin spaghetti noodles
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomato Original recipe calls for peeled tomatoes but truth is, I just don't do that, ever!
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- More Parmesan to sprinkle on top
- Garnish with Lemon Sections optional
- Simmer broccoli in approximately 2 quarts of salted hot water for a few seconds.
- Add uncooked spaghetti and cook for 8 minutes.
- Put mushrooms and tomatoes in the bottom of a large serving bowl.
- Drain broccoli and spaghetti in colander and put on top of vegetables in bowl and let them sit for a minute or two.
- Add Parmesan, butter,, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss together and serve with some additional Parmesan grated on top and fresh lemon sections.