Italian broccoli & salmon bake

Italian broccoli & salmon bake

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(186 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins - 35 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4

Take a fresh look at broccoli with this creamy pasta bake

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal817
  • fat42g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs64g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein49g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 250g penne
  • 300g broccoli, cut into large florets



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…

  • 25g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 25g plain flour
  • 600ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 100g mascarpone
  • 8 sundried tomato (preserved in olive oil), drained and thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp small capers (optional) rinsed to remove excess salt or vinegar



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

  • 8 anchovy fillets, halved (optional)



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…

  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly torn



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 4 fresh skinless salmon fillets



    With its delicate, sweet flesh and wide availability, salmon is one of the most popular fish.…

  • 50g mature cheddar, finely grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C and get out an ovenproof dish (measuring 20 by 30cm, and about 5cm deep). Meanwhile, put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. When it is boiling rapidly, tip in the pasta with a generous sprinkling of salt. Give it a stir, return to the boil and cook for 6 minutes. Add the broccoli, then return the water to the boil and cook for 4 minutes more, until the broccoli is on the firm side of just tender. Drain well.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, put the butter, flour and milk in a large pan and heat, whisking or stirring continuously, until it thickens to make a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone, sun-dried tomatoes, capers (if using), anchovies (if using) and basil, then add the pasta and broccoli and season well.

  3. Halve the salmon fillets widthways (you will see that there is an obvious divide on each fillet) then place the pieces in a single layer on the base of the ovenproof dish. Spoon the broccoli mixture on top, then scatter with the grated cheddar. (You can chill this for up to 4 hours if you want to get ahead.)

  4. Bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is just starting to bubble round the edges and the mixture is pale golden – don’t let it go too dark or the fish will overcook.

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Comments (181)

dux395's picture

Loved this dish! I didn't have any sun dried tomatoes so used normal ones; also added some paprika to the topping and the salmon which gave it a nice kick! Will be making again!

rosietownend's picture

Fantastic dish - best pasta bake we've ever eaten. I didnt have any capers / anchovies, but still lovely without them. Added some peas and green beans as extra veg, used some left over soured cream rather than the mascapone, also stirred in a bit of tomato puree into the cream before mixing with the pasta. Will definitely be making again.

curlybex's picture

tweaked the recipe by replacing the broccoli with spinach & peas plus chopped the salmon into chunks and added 1/2 a veg stock cube to the sauce... yummy!!!

denirvo's picture

Made this a couple of times so far, my latest is in the oven now! I, too, used half fat Creme fraiche, and added some mediterranean spice mix to the white sauce mix along with grain mustard and lots of salt and pepper. Worked a treat last time, so can't wait for tea tonight! Must say though, that there is enough for six if you serve with side salad and garlic bread.

whirlwind's picture

Oops, forgot to score the recipe. By the way, make sure you add plenty of pepper - the recipe needs it.

whirlwind's picture

Delicious!!! I made this using some smoked salmon fillets that I had in the freezer. I used skimmed milk, and half fat creme fraiche instead of the mascapone. I forgot to buy anchovies so omitted those.

I also added a couple of teaspoons of a fire roasted tomato paste that I had in the fridge. I used a mixture of cheddar and parmesan for the topping.

A great recipe which would be delicious as the original or tweaked around a bit like I did.

If you were trying to economise a bit you could use either half a salmon fillet per person or use some smoked salmon trimmings. The pasta and sauce is tasty and filling enough that you don't need a whole piece of salmon each.

tessakemp's picture

Great dish - Didn't find it bland - make sure you add salt and pepper. Didn't have the sundried tomatoes and it was still nice. Swapped basil for dill as that's what we had in the fridge.

soni_shivani's picture


hartie28's picture

This was delicious ! I read the feedback from others before I made, and took on board that people thought it was bland ... so I added a leek, finely chopped and cooked with a little oil, and also added dijon mustard to the sauce. I did add quite a bit of black pepper too as felt it needed that. I too added more mature cheddar than 50g. Very tasty ! Will definitely make again.

nic_reading's picture

Really liked this recipe, as with others I used low fat Creme fraiche rather than mascarpone and grilled the salmon before flaking into the mixture to reduce the cooking time :)

judithsimpson's picture

Very disappointing. I read all of the comments first, then added extra ingredients for more flavour - sundried tomato pesto, garlic, herbs, Parmesan and extra seasoning - yet it was still bland. Won't be doing it again.

juless_2's picture

Great recipe for my vegetarian family members. Especially liked the salmon at the bottom of the dish.

karenbristow's picture

This is a variation of a pasta dish I often make without the fishfor a vege (add sliced red pepper) but I always sprinkle fine white breadcrumbs mixed with ground up salted peanuts and grated cheese over the top. This stops the dish from drying out too much in the oven and adds extra taste.

dutes8080's picture

What can you say about this that hasn't already been said, simply BRILL!

Only three comments firstly it is quite rich not required so large portions are not mandatory, secondly it does reheat beautifully if you take the precaution of covering with foil, and thirdly I made it up to the final baking 24hrs in advance (didn't read the recipe thoroughly ;-) ) and it behaved perfectly. This definitely would fit anything from a family meal to an informal supper party.

woody121's picture

After reading the comments on here about it being bland, I used onion and garlic soft cheese and added some chilli flakes to the white sauce. Also put plenty of salt and pepper in it and it turned out lovely. Used 2 salmon fillets (cut in half to make 4 pieces) in a shallow baking dish, but kept the other quantities the same, and found that it was plenty (reduced the cost too). There are only 2 of us so we had it for tea one night and then took leftovers to work the next day for lunch and it reheats well. Def make again.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

I made this exactly to the recipe and it's certainly not bland. This was one of the tastiest pasta dishes I have made and lovely with the addition of the salmon. The only thing I would do differently next time is to cut the anchovies and sun dried tomatoes up into much smaller pieces for better texture. This one is a keeper.

kilmory's picture

Forgot to rate it.

kilmory's picture

We had this last night, it was fabulous and partner scored it 10+. I didn't have any mascarpone so used reduced fat cream cheese and made the white sauce with sauce flour and no butter to reduce the overall fat content. The anchovies, sun dried tomatoes and capers worked really well. I mixed the cheddar cheese with wholemeal bread crumbs to cover the top more thickly as I don't like dried-out pasta.

annlamont's picture

Absolutely lovely would make again.

fuji115's picture

Really, really really nice! I didn't skip any of the ingredients. The result was fantastic. My one year old loved it as well! Worth cooking for dinner with friends. Lots of "m-m-m-m-m" is guaruanteed!


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