Fusilli in Broccoli Sauce

Fusilli in Broccoli Sauce

Fusilli with Broccoli Sauce is a simple yet scrumptious pasta dish featuring a creamy sauce made from broccoli and spinach. It’s a comforting and delightful choice for a weekday meal!

Drawing inspiration from Southern Italy, particularly the Apulia region, this Fusilli with Broccoli Sauce recipe is my go-to for a quick, effortless, and tasty weekday dish. It’s packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, antioxidants, and more.

Consider adding this to your collection of broccoli recipes – it’s definitely one to keep! Its simplicity, delectable flavour, creamy consistency, and healthful ingredients will win you over.

The dish consists of a full head of broccoli and spinach blended into a pesto-like sauce with onions, cashews, cheese, and garlic. This pasta dish is straightforward to prepare, requires few ingredients, and is a wholesome, meat-free option suitable for the whole family.

My kids are fond of this pasta because it offers a delightful variation from the usual tomato or cream-based sauces. Plus, I appreciate that it incorporates an entire large head of broccoli, boosting the nutritional value of our pasta nights.

I’ve chosen fusilli for this recipe. Fusilli’s spiral shape, with its grooves, is excellent for capturing the sauce, ensuring each bite is richly flavoured.

Other recipes you might like are

Pasta Salad,

White Sauce Pasta  with Vegetables,

Baked Macaroni with Pineapple,

Vegetable Au gratin,

Lemon Garlic Mushroom Asparagus Pasta and

Pesto Spaghetti.



1 cup fusilli pasta

For Sauteing Broccoli
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons chopped broccoli florets
1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves

For Sauce
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup spinach leaves
12-15 cashew nuts
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups warm milk
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry basil leaves
¼ cup parmesan cheese



Boil 6-8 cups of water in a large high sided pan. When it begins to boil, add the fusilli and let it boil for 7-8 minutes or until it is al-dente. (Check the boiling time on the packaging as different brands have different boiling times).

Drain the fusilli and keep the drained water in a bowl.


Boil water in a pan. Add broccoli and spinach leaves and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Puree the blanched broccoli and spinach with cashew nuts and ½ water to a smooth puree.


To sauté the broccoli, heat oil in a pan and add the broccoli and garlic. Sauté on high heat for 2-3 minutes to slightly char the broccoli. Keep it aside.


  • To make the base of the sauce, melt butter in a pan and then add the plain flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms. Continue cooking for 2 minutes on low heat. Add the warm milk to the roux gradually, stirring as you go, until you get a smooth sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened.

After the sauce has thickened, add the broccoli puree, salt, chilli flakes, oregano, white pepper and basil leaves and mix. You can add some water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.


Next add the boiled fusilli, parmesan cheese and sauteed broccoli. Sauté for a minute. (If the consistency of the gravy is too thick add little water in batches.)


Tips & Variations

  1. I have blanched the broccoli in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. If you want, you can steam them or bake them for 8-10 minutes.
  2. I have used plain flour in this recipe. If you want, you can add wheat flour or add half of plain flour and wheat flour.
  3. You can substitute white pepper with black pepper powder.
  4. Cooking pasta is simple, but like a lot of simple cooking, timing is crucial. Most dried pasta cooks in about 10 mins – a few minutes less and it will be chalky and tough, a few minutes more and you will end up with a slimy mush. The trick is to test it and stop cooking when it is perfectly ‘al dente’ – which translates from Italian as ‘to the tooth’ but simply means you should need to use your teeth to chew it.
  5. You can add ½ teaspoon of salt while boiling the pasta.
  6. This sauce is very forgiving. Sauce too thick? Add some drained pasta water until you get your desired consistency; if it is too thin, continue to simmer it down, allowing evaporation to thicken the sauce up.
  7. You can add other seasoning like Italian seasoning, dried parsley or thyme, dried basil leaves.
  8. I have used fusilli in this recipe, however any short pasta like macaroni/elbow, twirls, penne, ziti, orecchiette etc. can be used. I tend to use small pasta with folds and twists that make it great for holding on to a thick sauce for this recipe.
  9. You can use any melting cheese like cheddar, Monterey Jack, tasty, gruyere, Swiss.
  10. Broccoli florets – I used fresh here, but you can also use frozen.