Purple Sprouting Broccoli & Pancetta Carbonara

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Purple Sprouting Broccoli & Pancetta Carbonara

As though luxuriously creamy, pancetta-studded carbonara sauce weren’t enough to have everyone running to the dinner table, we’ve added seasonal purple sprouting broccoli and a bright squeeze of lemon to offset the richness, plus a refreshing courgette and winter leaf salad on the side.


  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 70g pancetta
  • 200g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 40g parmesan
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 courgettes
  • 50g winter salad mix
  • 200g penne
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
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1. Fill a large pan with water and sprinkle in a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil. Meanwhile, peel the shallots and finely chop. Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop. Chop the pancetta into thin slices. Trim the woody ends from the broccoli and roughly shred into small pieces.
2. Finely grate the parmesan. Scoop half into a small bowl and set aside till later. Slide the other half into a separate bowl. Spoon in 100g crème fraîche and crack in the eggs. Grate in the lemon zest and sprinkle in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk well, till combined.
3. Top and tail the courgettes, and use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons. Slide into a large bowl and toss with the winter leaves.
4. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Slide in the chopped pancetta and shallots and fry for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally, till slightly golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 1 min.
5. The water in the pan should be boiling by now. Add the penne to the pan and cook for 9 mins, till tender with a slight bite.
6. Add the chopped broccoli to the pancetta pan and fry for 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally, till tender. Drain the pasta, retaining a little of the cooking water. Tumble the drained penne into the broccoli pan. Reduce the heat to low. Pour over the egg and crème fraîche mixture along with 2 tbsp of the reserved cooking liquid.
7. Toss the penne with the sauce for 2-3 mins, till the sauce is warmed through and coats the pasta.
8. Squeeze the lemon juice over the winter leaves and courgette salad. Toss with 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and pepper till dressed.
9. Pile the pasta and sauce onto plates, topped with the reserved parmesan and a good crack of pepper. Serve with the salad on the side.
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