Italian broccoli & salmon bake

Italian broccoli & salmon bake

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(181 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 (178)

bluemeanie's picture

Pasta bakes are easy and this is about as good as one gets. I added a tomato tapenade to the sauce for extra flavour. Those complaining that they wouldn't serve it up for a dinner party should feel ashamed that that they would serve pasta bake at a dinner party in the first place.

moss2009's picture

Made this for some friends and their children, so I left out the Capers and Anchovies - big mistake - it was very bland without so will try again with the capers and anchovies. Looked very impressive and the kids liked it, but all the adults agreed it needed the capers and anchovies

mlc1965's picture

Really good, even my 6 year old loved it, and anchovies and capers are not normally her thing!

lesley1142's picture

Made it for the 2nd time in a week. First time I stuck to the exact recipe but next time added more flavour in the form of roast pepper pesto, garlic and extra sundried tomatoes (with a little bit of their oil). It was so moreish!! Goes down a treat with the whole family. My fav pasta bake.

jonesre's picture

So easy and really tasty!

laracook1's picture

I sometimes add red pesto to the white sauce too!

laracook1's picture

This is a great base for a pasta bake, but it needs much more flavour! Before I add the anchovies and sun-dried toms etc to the white sauce, I fry them first with diced sweet red pepper, garlic and chilli. Instead of marscapone, (waste of money to use this- the flavour isn't strong enough)I use garlic and herb cream cheese, and I also grate parmesan into it as well. I sometimes add mushrooms too. With these adjusments it makes a wonderful meal! It is often requested in my house!

schnarftastic's picture

Quick and easy to make and tastes really good - great dish to prepare if you haev friends coming over for dinner! Big hit with my 2 year old as well as husband.

schnarftastic's picture

Very quick and easy to make - and very tasty. Great dish to serve for friends. A big hit with my 2 year old and husband.

vrog's picture

Cooked minus capers and basil, plus parmesan to serve. Would add pepper to the sauce next time. Great comfort supper!

sistermoonrain's picture

I made a big mess in the kitchen making the sauce! Thought I had some sun dried tomatoes..but didn't , so, added some cherry tomatoes and some sundried tomato and caper pesto type spread instead. I did think at one point that it wouldnt work..however I was wrong . wonderful :)

rubyfitz's picture

Quick and easy to make also used the parmesan, garlic and mixed herbs, very very nice

heidicav's picture

Firm favourite with the kids (although they pick out the sun-dried tomatoes). I always top off with plenty of parmesan just as it comes out of the oven to enhance the flavour.

scabs1's picture

Great, tasty dish. Definitely add the capers and anchovies to add flavour

clairehh's picture

Used all mascapone for the sauce, so it was very rich and creamy.

chrisdann's picture

Makes a huge amount, I used half the ingredients, there are only two of us and we still have enough for tomorrow night. Unfortunate because I didn't like it.

mi4ence's picture

Based on all above comments of "blind taste" I added more garlic and anchovies also more black pepper. Well, frankly I cut the bechamel and mascarpone and substituted with soy cream (which thickens and tastes exactly like bechamel) and low fat cream cheese. Superb :)

vhoracek's picture

Used ricotta instead of mascarpone and added 1 garlic clove. It exceeded my expectations :)

donnamears's picture

I made this recipe last weekend as we had friends coming over. It was truly yummy & the fact that you could make it in advance & finish the cooking process later was really helpful. It was so tasty and so easy to make. I couldn't find any sun dried tomatoes so I used some posh cherry tomatoes instead, just as good! I will most definitely make this one again, really easy but so impressive looking!!!!!!!!!!!!

chicajules's picture

A really tasty quick supper dish. I used creme fraiche instead of mascarpone and also added dijon mustard to spice it up a little. It got the thumbs up from my family.


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