Gnochette with Broccoli & Puffed Chickpeas

This pasta is great for lunch. You can even make it a weekday office lunch too but be sure to pack the chick peas separately and sprinkle them on top.


1 broccoli, cut into medium sized florets

250 grams gnocchette

25 grams butter

3 shallots, sliced thinly

2 large garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

30 grams cream cheese

200ml pasta cooking water

50 grams Parmesan or Grana Padona cheese, grated

Juice from half a lemon

Rind from one lemon

Salt to taste


Blanch the broccoli in rapidly boiling, salted water for two minutes. Remove, the broccoli and refresh in cold water. Set aside.

Put the measured pasta in a deep sauce pan and cover the pasta by five centimetres of salted tap water.  Bring to the boil. After it comes up to the boil, switch off heat and let it sit for 8 minutes. Drain and save 250ml pasta water.

In a separate fry pan or sauté pan, heat the butter and fry the shallots and garlic. When they are soft, throw in the chilli flakes. After a few seconds of frying add the pasta water. When the water comes up to the boil, add the cream cheese. Once the cream cheese is incorporated, add the gnochette and the broccoli. Stir well, remove from heat and add the lemon juice, lemon rind. Sprinkle the cheese and the roasted chick peas. Serve immediately. Serves 3-4.


400 grams tin of chick peas drained and rinsed well

1 teaspoon harissa paste

1 teaspoon oil


Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

On a baking tray, mix the chick peas with harissa and oil. Spread well and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes until they are well roasted and popping.

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