Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Quick and Creamy Pasta with Ham and Tenderstem broccoli

Recently I was sent a supply of Tenderstem broccoli, with the challenge to create a dish using the Tenderstem broccoli, in under ten minutes…

...Now I will be quite honest in that I am quite laid back in the kitchen, and rarely time my cooking but I decided to try and keep to the ten minute challenge, armed myself with the timer, and surprised myself by managing to get my dinner on the table pretty much on the dot of 10 minutes! Whilst I would normally prefer the taste of fresh onions, I do keep a sneaky bag of frozen diced onion which are ideal when 90% of the time you are only cooking for yourself, plus they are a great time saver too!

The Tenderstem broccoli is really quite delicious, its sweet, fresh tasting and has a tasty crunch to it – there is no waste either as you use the whole stem. Though personally I never waste broccoli stems anyway, choosing to normally use them in stocks and soups instead or even just to nibble on whilst making dinner! My dad was very taken with it too when I simply boiled it alongside a separate meal, and has even said since how much he preferred the taste of it against regular broccoli!

For the Tenderstem in Ten challenge, I really fancied using pasta but most of my stock were the 15 odd minute variety, hence ruling them out but after a rummage through the depths of the kitchen draw (a little like jenga) I found a packet of Turkish vermicelli pasta which cooks in less than 5 minutes – perfect! I can have pasta!

This is also my entry into Presto Pasta Nights #272- a great weekly Pasta challenge, this week its being held by Culinary Vibes. I have entered a couple of times before but have been bad this year at remembering but now college has finished am slowly reclaiming some brain cells!

So here is my finished lunch - Creamy pasta with ham and Tenderstem broccoli - delicious, quick and easy and all yours in less than ten minutes!

Serves one


5 Tenderstem broccoli stalks, sliced into 3
Glug white wine
3 tbsp double cream
3 sprigs tarragon, leaves removed and finely sliced
50g vermicelli pasta
75g cooked ham, torn into shreds
1 heaped tbsp. frozen onion
Spray cooking oil

Step 1: Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Meanwhile heat a frying pan, spray with oil and fry the onion for a couple of minutes, then add the ham to heat through.

Step 2: Add the vermicelli to the boiling water and cook as per packet instructions.

Step 3: Meanwhile add a good glug of wine to the ham mixture, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

Step 4: Add the broccoli to the pasta and count to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat in the frying pan, add a good tbsp of the pasta water and stir in the cream, being careful not to boil. Stir in the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the broccoli, stir into the sauce and serve immediately.

Thanks to Melissa at Pam Lloyd for my Tenderstem samples


  1. Lovely pasta dish - and now I have to hunt for the tenderstem broccoli. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night this week.

  2. What a delicius way to use the tenderstem broccoli. Pasta would usually be my go to recipes up for this challenge I went down the Chinese route.

  3. Love how versatile pasta can be. This is a good idea, look forward to trying it.

  4. Sounds like a great way to get dinner on the table in under ten minutes! I keep meaning to try tenderstem broccoli.

  5. I love food in general but top 3 favourite dishes are pasta, pizza and salads because of their flexibility. I fancy your pasta recipe. Though I would normally prefer the bush tree head top of the broccoli or the panicles. But I know several others who prefer tenderstems.


Thanks for stopping by my kitchen! I love to hear your thoughts and comments on my recipes!


01 09 10