This pasta is light, but delicious. Roasting the garlic mellows and sweetens it, and the toasted breadcrumb-walnut mixture gives the whole dish a depth of flavor. As this is a deliberately simple pasta dish, use the best quality ingredients you can find – locally-grown garlic and juicy organic lemons. Rather than store bought bread crumbs, save a couple of slice of sourdough from a loaf and make your own. Find some high-quality linguine, too!
Lemon and Walnut Linguine With Roasted Broccoli [Vegan]
For the Linguine:
- 8 ounces linguine
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1 cup sourdough breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Rind and juice of 1 large lemon
- 5-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Handful of parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Roasted Broccoli:
- One head broccoli
- Rind of half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast the garlic cloves in their skins for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the cloves. Take out of the oven and when cool enough to handle peel, remove the tough end, and set aside.
- Cut the broccoli into florets, halving them if they are large. Toss through with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and lay flat on a baking tray. Pop into the oven preheated from the garlic and roast for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. When they come out of the oven toss them through with the rind of half a lemon and the chilli flakes and serve hot.
- While the broccoli is roasting, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine according to packet instructions until al dente. In the meantime add the lemon rind and juice to the roasted garlic along with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Using a hand mixer, blend until fully combined.
- Toss the bread crumbs* in a food processor along with the walnuts and pulse until fully combined; it is okay if the mixture is still a little coarse.
- Roughly chop the parsley.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat and add the breadcrumb-walnut mixture, toasting until it starts to brown and smell nutty – about five minutes. Toss continually to prevent burning.
- When everything is ready, drain the linguine, reserving about a quarter cup of cooking liquid in the pot. Return the drained linguine to the pot, add the lemon sauce and the chopped parsley, and stir to thoroughly combine. Add about three-quarters of the toasted crumb mixture to the pasta. Divide into bowls and top with the remaining toasted crumbs.
- Serve while fresh and hot, with the roasted broccoli on the side.
*If making your own breadcrumbs, pulse two or three slices of sourdough until crumbed (just a couple of minutes) before adding the walnuts. I used some lovely organic durum semolina linguine for this dish, but it would work just as well with fettuccini or spaghetti, or even gluten free pasta.