A fabulous pasta salad loaded with vibrant, fresh lemon flavours, parmesan cheese and the goodness of broccolini. One of my favorite spring salads!
This pasta salad screams of spring! I love the bright green broccolini and the Lemon Dressing is fabulous!
Did you know….when it comes to lemon anything, if you really want lemon flavour, you can’t just use lemon juice. You have to use the zest. The zest is where all the lemon flavour is! Lemon juice is a bit lemony, but it is mainly just sour. So that’s a little tip for you!
Pasta salads are my “go to” for pot lucks, standby make ahead meals and grab ‘n go lunches during warmer months. I love that they last for days and are usually even better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to meld together.
I have a theory that you can use almost any vegetable to make a truly great pasta salad. And I think this is a good example of it. When you think of broccolini, you probably don’t immediately think of pasta salad! But it is a fabulous pairing. ESPECIALLY with that Lemon Dressing.
Parmesan cheese really is a magic ingredient. It adds umami, a savouriness to anything that you add it to. And it’s what really takes this to the next level and brings the whole thing together.
Plus, parmesan and lemon are a beautiful pairing, don’t you think?
This recipe makes a BIG batch. Because it keeps so well!
PS I like making this with broccolini rather than broccoli because the shape of it makes it easier to cut into a size suitable for using in a pasta salad. However, you could use broccoli as well, just cut into small florets and proceed with recipe!
Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad is the perfect make ahead potluck dish filled with delicious lemon parmesan flavor! Add some grilled chicken to make it a complete meal!
Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad
- 1 lb mini penne (or other pasta of choice)
- 3 bunches boccolini
- 3/4 - 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (adjust to taste)
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley (or basil)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 large garlic clove , minced
- 2 tsp white sugar
- Salt and pepper
Trim ends then cut broccolini into 2.5” lengths.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Add broccolini and cook for 1 ½ minutes. Take them out of the hot water using tongs, and transfer to colander. Run under cold tap water to stop them cooking further.
Add pasta into the same pot of boiling water. Cook per packet directions. Drain then rinse with water. Cool.
Place Dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well.
Place pasta in a very large bowl. Add broccolini, parsley and parmesan cheese (start with 3/4 cup, add more if you want). Drizzle with Dressing and toss well. Adjust salt and and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
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