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Meatless Monday: Lemony Penne & Broccoli

February 21, 2011

As I sat at work last weekend, I flipped tediously through the pages of the latest Family Circle magazine. Normally I make it a point to not read housekeeping magazines, but I was bored to tears, and the cover promised clutter-busting tips & healthy recipes so I was drawn in. To my surprise, I found several enticing-yet-healthy recipes that I was determined to try out. One was a chicken & roasted root vegetable recipe that we enjoyed last Wednesday, and another was a vegetarian pasta dish that even my kids liked. It’s easy to make, tasty, and a perfect Meatless Monday dish!


  • 8 ounces  whole-wheat penne
  • 4 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 6 cloves  garlic, sliced (I used 4)
  • 1 pound  broccoli florets (fresh)
  • 1 can (15 ounces)  cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon**
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  red pepper flakes (I omitted this because of the kids)
  • 1/2 cup  fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup  grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cook penne following package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to large serving bowl.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden.

3. Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water to skillet and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender.

4. Stir beans into skillet and heat through. Add lemon juice, zest, salt and red pepper.

5. Add contents of skillet to pasta. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and enough reserved cooking liquid to create a sauce. Tear in the basil. Serve immediately and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4

**Just a note – The broccoli really soaked up the lemon flavor, and I think the dish would have tasted better with a bit less lemon. Next time, I’ll definitely cut back a bit.

If you decide to try it, let me know what you think!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Teresa Meyer permalink
    February 21, 2011 7:11 pm

    Love the meatless Monday recipes. Keep it up & thanks!

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