Rigatoni with Creamy Broccoli Sauce & Smoky Courgette

I hate broccoli. There, I said it. I've tried it so many ways and there's just always been something about those little trees I can't get past. This recipe changed my mind. Eliminating the funky texture by incorporating them into a creamy sauce, you could almost call this a 'hidden veg' dish, if it didn't give the sauce such a lovely green colour!

After the idea of making the fearful vegetable into a creamy sauce, I started thinking about other creamy dishes. Carbonara came to mind and I decided I needed something savory and smoky to offset the richness of the sauce, inspired by bacon or pancetta. But I wanted it to be lighter, more garden-fresh. Enter my never ending supply of courgettes, seasoned and crisped for a gorgeous flavour and texture contrast.

Creamy Broccoli & Smoky Courgette Rigatoni

serves 2-3


1 small courgette (zucchini), sliced

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 small head of broccoli, florets broken and stem chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablepoons tahini

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

250g dried bronze die rigatoni


  1. Preheat the oven to 200c (390f).

  2. On a lined baking dish or sheet, toss the courgette with a teaspoon of the oil, the paprika, soy sauce and maple syrup.

  3. Roast until browned - around 20 minutes - and set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in boiling water until bright green - 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Drain and add to the jug of a bullet blender.

  6. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

  7. While the pasta cooks, add all of the remaining ingredients except the oil to the blender with ⅓ cup water.

  8. Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed.

  9. Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss in a pan with the sauce and courgettes until warmed through.

  10. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining oil and serve.



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© 2019 Asher Cusack ashergrows@gmail.com