Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
My sister, Eloisa, absolutely loved a farro, broccoli, and cipollini onion dish my mom used to make when we were kids. I re-created the dish, making it a more weeknight-friendly meal by replacing the farro with faster-cooking farfalle pasta and the cipollini onions with peeled and easy-to-find frozen pearl onions. Now, Eloisa can make this after work for both herself and for her son, Julian. Even better, it’s great hot or cold, as a salad. I love to use an extra fun pasta bite-sized pasta shape for pasta salads like this one, and strozzapreti is a great pick.
Broccoli And Pearl Onion Pasta
For The Pasta:
- 1 pound short pasta, such as strozzapreti or farfalle
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 12- ounce bag of frozen pearl onions, thawed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 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
For The Dressing:
- Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup about 1 ounce chopped fresh chives
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until aromatic. Add the broccoli and saute for 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup water and scrape up the browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cover the pan and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute, until warmed through. Add the pecorino cheese and toss with the pasta until coated.
- 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 the dressing over the pasta and toss well until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.