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Ziti With Broccoli and Toasted Pine Nuts

Ziti With Broccoli and Toasted Pine Nuts 4.000

(Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Weeknight Vegetarian Jun 16, 2019

Blue cheese adds creamy tartness to this hearty pasta dish. If pine nuts are too pricey, feel free to substitute almonds or walnuts.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound (about 6 cups) broccoli florets
  • 12 ounces dried ziti pasta or other similarly shaped pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone (optional; may substitute full-fat Greek yogurt)
  • 4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) crumbled blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE; may substitute toasted chopped almonds or walnuts)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)


Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes, until it's bright green and crisp-tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a colander, and rinse with cold water to help set its color. Drain again and coarsely chop.

Return the water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the butter and garlic in a large skillet. Place over medium heat and cook until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped broccoli; cover and cook until the broccoli is very soft, yielding easily to a wooden spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. (The garlic will be very soft, too.) Stir in the mascarpone, if using, and the blue cheese, until the cheese melts. Stir in the pepper and toasted pine nuts.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup or so of its cooking water, and transfer the pasta immediately into the pan with the broccoli and cheese. Stir to combine thoroughly, adding some of the pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, as needed to create a creamy sauce that coats the ziti.

Divide among bowls and top with some Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.

NOTE: Toast the pine nuts in a large, dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Way to Eat Now," by Alice Hart (The Experiment, 2019).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 530

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 31g 48%

Saturated Fat: 8g 40%

Cholesterol: 30mg 10%

Sodium: 300mg 12%

Total Carbohydrates: 50g 17%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 18g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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