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Quick Lemon Broccoli Pasta with Five-Chile Harissa

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Like anyone else, I am always on the lookout for quick and easy meal ideas that can be thrown together with minimal prep and even less cleanup. Enter this pasta dish, which makes a pretty regular appearance on our Meatless Monday menu. Feel free to swap out the fresh broccoli for brussels sprouts, and if you don't have kale, try spinach, chard, or some other hearty greens. And if the broccoli and kale happen to be frozen, don't worry. No judgment here, and no one but you will ever know. In fact, good on you for having room for veggies in your freezer in the first place!

I've used my Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend (get yours here) as well as preserved lemon peel to make this dish feel special, but you can certainly substitute some regular chile flake if you haven't gotten your refill of Five-Chile Harissa in the mail yet. And fresh lemon zest and juice will do if you don't have preserved lemon. Again, this dish is about keeping things easy, not fussy. Now go relax. You deserve it.

Quick Lemon Broccoli Pasta with Five-Chile Harissa

lemon broccoli pasta


  • 1 pound penne (or other short) pasta

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh broccoli, trimmed into bite-sized pieces

  • 3-4 cups Tuscan kale, roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 1 anchovy fillet, minced)

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

  • 1 teaspoon Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon (or the zest and juice of 1 lemon)

  • 1 cup fresh Parmesan, plus more to garnish


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Three minutes before the pasta is set to be done, add broccoli to the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter and allow the butter to melt. Add the anchovy paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the Five-Chile Harissa and stir. Add the greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and slightly softened. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.

Once the pasta and broccoli are done cooking, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain. Add the pasta and broccoli to the skillet with the wilted greens mixture. Add a small amount of pasta water to loosen the sauce so that it coats the pasta and broccoli. Stir in the preserved lemon and the parmesan and additional pasta water as necessary to get a saucy consistency.

Serve immediately, topped with additional parmesan.

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