To make it grain-free we just replace the pasta with canned butter beans. Too easy and even more delicious.
1 large bunch broccolini / broccoli chopped
1 can butter beans, drained
1 handful pine nuts
4-6 tablespoons cream
2 large handfuls finely grated parmesan
1. Bring about 2cm (1in) water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add a little salt and the broccolini / broccoli and simmer, covered for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a fry pan / skillet. Stir fry the butter beans for a minute or until starting to brown.
3. Add pine nuts and cook for another 30 seconds or until the pine nuts are a little browned.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in cream.
5. Drain tender broccolini / broccoli well and toss in with the beans along with the parmesan. Season.
bean-free – replace the beans with about 250g (1/2lb) finely sliced chicken breasts or thighs. Stir fry the chicken in oil until cooked through before adding in the pinenuts.
basil – a handful of fresh basil leaves torn and tossed through would add a lovely pesto vibe.
cauliflower – with the cream and cheese, cauliflower would be a wonderful alternative to broccoli or broccolini
vegan / dairy-free replace the parmesan with an extra handful of pine nuts and instead of the cream, use a few tablespoons of the broccolini cooking water and a few tablespoons of your best extra virgin olive oil to make a sauce.
nut-free – replace the pine nuts with a handful of chopped chives sprinkled over at the end. OR brown some chopped bacon in the pan before cooking the butter beans.
garlic – A few sliced cloves of garlic in with the butter beans wouldn’t go astray.