Curly Long Spaghetti with Broccolini, Chilli and Homemade Breadcrumbs

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

I haven’t posted a pasta dish in a while so I thought it was about time. This is so delicious and easy to make, you can get it on your table in no time at all. It’s a little twist on regular broccoli and pasta because it uses broccolini.

Broccolini is nothing like regular broccoli or broccoli rabe it has a much sweeter taste and when cooked it has a nice tender bite to it, and in this dish I love how the long thin stalks get intertwined with the pasta.

ingredients for curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

You can use what ever long pasta you like but I happened to have a bag of fusilli lunghi in my pantry better known as long fusilli or curly spaghetti. I also used a nice fresh red chilli instead of flakes, it’s really not that hot if you remove the seeds. The other important ingredient is homemade breadcrumbs, larger in size, filled with flavor that will give the finished dish a nice tasty crunch on top.

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

You boil your pasta first then at the last five minutes you throw your broccolini in with the pasta, scoop everything out and into a pan with olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and the chilli and cheese, but don’t throw out all of the pasta water, that’s key to creating your creamy sauce!

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

This would be a great dish to whip up quickly and serve to guests that might be dropping by during the holiday.

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

And I must admit it looks a little festive with the red and green going on, don’t you think?

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Curly Long Spaghetti with Broccolini, Chilli and Homemade Breadcrumbs
A quick and delicious pasta dish that showcases broccolini Adapted from AU
  • 1 lb. long spaghetti, preferably curly
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped and 1 more for breadcrumbs
  • 2 bunches of broccolini, trimmed
  • 1 or 2 long red chilli, deseeded and sliced thin
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • breadcubes from a day old baguette, olive oil, 1 garlic clove smashed and fresh parsley
  1. For breadcrumbs, take a small baguette or half of a large one, cut into ¼ inch chunks, drizzle and toss it into olive olive add a small smashed garlic clove and a handful of chopped parsley and place on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375 degree oven until golden and crunchy.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot with salted water, cook according to directions on package adding the broccolini for the final 1 minute of cooking time.
  3. Meanwhile drizzle olive oil all over the bottom of a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the 5 chopped garlic cloves, chilli and zest, stirring until fragrant, just a few minutes.
  4. I like to use a spider and scoop out the pasta and broccolini leaving the pasta water, but if you don't have a spider and want to drain the pasta and broccolini be sure to save at least two cups of the water.
  5. Toss it into the saute pan mixing everything together, add the grated cheese, maybe some more olive oil, black pepper and little by little add some of the pasta water until it loosens up and creates a little sauce.
  6. You might not use all the water, just add it little by little.
  7. Place on a platter or individual bowls and top with your homemade breadcrumbs and adding more cheese if you wish.



Veggie Napoleon

This is a savory version of a napoleon, layers and layers of your favorite vegetables all perched on top of a sturdy portobello base. These pretty bundles are the perfect side dish to any protein you make or a straight up main course served together with a salad.
This dish was inspired by something my sister in law ordered while on vacation, her portobello was filled with Yukon gold potatoes, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and parmesan cheese.

I wanted to incorporate some autumn vegetables on mine so I added sliced sweet potatoes, kale and some nice fresh green beans I found.
Everything is precooked before you layer, I steamed the green beans and sauteed the kale but roasted everything else you see here, the eggplant, red and yellow peppers, the sweet potatoes and the onion slices all tossed with a little olive oil and placed in a 400 degree oven until golden and tender.

The portobellos, (I bought large ones) were scraped of their gills ( to give you lots of room for layering) and roasted for only 10 minutes along with everything else just to get them a little tender.

Then just start layering! In between the layers you want add some grated cheese that melts good like fontina or mozzarella, it sort of “glues” the veggies together so that when you cut into bundle, ( with a serrated knife please) they won’t fall apart.
Place them back in the oven for a couple of minutes just to let the cheese melt in between.
I think I was getting  a little over zealous here stacking them too high with too many layers in the beginning, I tend to over due it, just ask my kids!
 So I ended up making mine a little more compact with not quite as many layers as above but always ending with the sweet potato slices on top.
 Place your finished veggie napoleon in a nice big puddle of marinara and sprinkle with more cheese, delish!
Get creative here, the various veggie combinations are endless!! 


Faux Spaghetti

If you’re going easy on the carbs right now but have a craving for spaghetti, I have the perfect solution for you!
 Al’ dente strands of julienned zucchini tossed with roasted veggies of your choice flavored with shaved garlic, olive oil, basil, red pepper flakes and generous amounts of grated romano cheese.

You’ll love the flavor and texture and even if you’re not watching your carbs it can be the perfect meatless meal along with a salad.

I love my handy julienne slicer it works so fast, before you know it you’ll have a pile of zucchini “pasta” right before your eyes, just work the sides and when you reach the seeds, give it a turn.
 The core of the zucchini will be left which I then dice and roast up for future use.
I roasted two different color cauliflower for mine and added some cherry tomatoes, next time I’ll roast those too, I forgot, but it didn’t matter, it was so yummy anyway!
Here’s what you do:

First, roast off the veggies of your choice in a 425 degree oven tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then set aside.
Have your zucchini “pasta” all ready to go then heat up a large saute pan drizzled with olive oil, add shaved garlic and red pepper flakes, saute until garlic is light golden. Next, add zucchini and cook for only about 2 minutes tossing with some tongs just until wilted and still al’ dente. Remove pan from heat, add the roasted veggies, fresh basil, lots of grated romano cheese and of course another drizzle of olive oil!


Eggplant Ricotta Bake

If your looking to lighten it up after all that heavy food you’ve had lately, don’t leave! This is not your typical “Eggplant Parmigiana” Nothing breaded or fried here!! Not even mozzarella is in here! Really, trust me!

What you have instead is eggplant slices that are roasted in a hot oven, layered with a light marinara sauce, and then finished off with a very light, almost custard like, basil, cheese flavored ricotta.

The flavor of the eggplant intensifies from roasting it, and that, along with the other ingredients, gives you an end result that melts in your mouth!! You actually feel good after eating this, it’s not heavy at all. Serve a salad on the side, and you’re good to go!!

recipe addapted from Everyday Food
2 Large Eggplants sliced lengthwise 3/4″ thick.. Leave skin on
1LB. Ricotta
3 Eggs
1 Cup Grated Romano
Fresh Chopped Basil
About 2 Cups Marinara Sauce
Olive Oil to Brush On, along with, Salt & Pepper

1*** Preheat oven to 450F. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast till tender and golden, about 20-30 minutes.
2*** In a bowl, whisk ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup of the Romano cheese, fresh basil, salt and pepper.
3*** Brush the bottom and the sides of an 8×8″ square casserole dish. Place 1/4 of the roasted eggplant down, spread with marinara, more eggplant, half of the ricotta mixture, repeat everything ending with ricotta on top. Spread remaining Romano over top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.
It’s important to let it cool for about 15 minutes so that everything sets and it’s not runny.

Note: I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9×12 baking dish, adding more basil and cheese. I really don’t measure those things.

Buon Appetito!!