This lemon-basil pasta with broccolini is chock full of all the good stuff: spicy chickpeas, plenty of tender broccolini, and lots of basil. Piled on hearty linguine, it’s a vegan dinner recipe everyone will love.
I love a hearty pasta dinner, and this one really did the trick for me tonight. You need just a few ingredients, but the flavor is absolutely delicious.
How to make this lemon-basil pasta with broccolini:
This is a great mostly pantry recipe that you can throw together in a flash on a weeknight. This meal goes heavy on crushed red pepper which gives it a nice heat that works perfectly with chickpeas and broccolini.
What you need
- Shallot, garlic, and crushed red pepper: This is the flavor base for the sauce.
- Canned chickpeas: You can use any canned white bean, like navy or cannellini.
- Water or vegetable broth: I used water, but you can use your favorite veggie broth.
- Pasta: I use whole wheat linguine, but your favorite white or wheat pasta will work well here. Try it with your favorite shape, too. Rigatoni, penne, spaghetti, or rotini would be fun.
- Broccolini: You can use broccolini, cauletti, broccoli rabe (this will be more bitter), or use regular broccoli cut into small florets.
- Basil and lemon juice: I finish the pasta with basil and lemon juice, which gives it the perfect amount of brightness.
How to make it
- Step 1: Start by sautéing shallot until almost soft. Add minced garlic and plenty of crushed red pepper.
- Step 2: Add the chickpeas and water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer as you finish the pasta.
- Step 3: Boil the pasta and be sure to reserve a scoop of pasta water! About 2 minutes before it is al dente, add the chopped broccolini and cook until bright green. Drain and set aside.
- Step 4: Finish it up! Add the basil to the chickpeas along with the pasta and broccolini. Finish with lemon juice.
From there, you just need to serve it up. I like to pile the pasta into a big serving bowl and finish with fresh basil leaves and plenty of black pepper on top. It’s delicious!
I hope you loved this meal as much as I did! Please drop a comment below to let me know what you think of it.
Lemon-Basil Pasta with Broccolini
- Wide pot
- Large pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste
- 14.5- ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 12 ounces linguine
- 16 ounces broccolini, rinsed thoroughly and roughly chopped
- 12 basil leaves, roughly chopped; plus more for serving
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Simmer the chickpeas:
- As you wait for the water to boil, prepare the chickpeas. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3–4 minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the chickpeas to the pot and toss to combine. Cook for 1–2 minutes. Pour in the water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer as you cook the pasta. The liquid should be reduced by about half. You can lightly mash some chickpeas for a slightly thicker sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta:
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes under al dente. Scoop out ½ cup of pasta water. Add the broccolini and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Finish the sauce:
- Add the basil leaves to the sauce along with the pasta water. Bring to a boil. Add the cooked pasta, broccolini, and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Season once more with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Garnish with a few more basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of black pepper on top if you like. Enjoy!