Italian broccoli & salmon bake

Italian broccoli & salmon bake

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(236 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 tomatoes (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, questions and tips

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15th Jan, 2017
How can this recipe possibly be made for 74p per portion? Salmon, mascarpone, Cheddar, anchovies etc are not cheap. Surely this is a mistake? Looks good though!
25th Nov, 2016
Cooked this more or less per recipe for a family of five and it went down very well. Only alteration was to use gruyere instead of cheddar and like some others used more mascarpone and plenty of seasoning. One of the best recipes we've had from this site.
benni's picture
11th Oct, 2016
Absolutely one of our favourites!! I doubled the amount of roux, and added a whole 250g tub of mascarpone to the sauce mix. Really delicious and have made it several times now.
8th Jul, 2016
Very nice. I replaced anchovies with olives, and I made a puree of olives, capers and sundried tomatoes which I added to the white sauce instead of having chunky bits in. I'm not sure about the cheddar on top though, it didn't seem to go well with the salmon. Won't use it next time, I'll just scatter parmesan instead.
17th Oct, 2015
Hi, is there anyway a tomato sauce can be used, with compromising on flavour. I can't have dairy.
2nd Oct, 2015
This was delicious! I subbed some of the broccoli for cauliflower and added peas and sweetcorn, but used all of the other ingredients (capers, sun-dried toms and anchovies etc) and generous seasoning having read other comments. It was wonderful, the whole family loved it, even my two year old. Next time, I might pop some spinach in too, should go nicely with it all. I do think you need the anchovies for a stronger taste, without them I can see it being quite a subtle flavour and I don't really do subtle... for the anchovies I just used 1 can from Tesco and chopped them up and that was plenty.
28th Aug, 2015
So I made a variation on this last night, a slightly healthier variation, and it was delicious! I used onions and garlic (obviously..) and for the bulk of the sauce a tub of creme fraiche and parmesan to add the cheesy gooey ness. I only used one tub of creme fraiche though and to be fair I think it was a little dry - next time I'll do either a pot and a half or two pots. Also, I used the smoked salmon filets from Aldi which were delish. Served with avocado tomato and rocket salad.. Bliss.
honeymustard's picture
1st Aug, 2015
This is soooo good. I've made it many times and it's always well received by friends and family. Certainly not bland. I read many of the comments below and made a few modifications. I used sundried tomato puree and also added one smoked salmon fillet and I use a whole jar of the anchovies. Oh and added garlic too.
7th Jul, 2015
I agree with some of the comments that it is bland - I did leave out the anchovies so I guess that will contribute to some reduction in flavour. However, the other ingredients do not blend for an overall sauce flavour - it's basically a white sauce. You can taste the capers, broccoli, salmon, grated cheese etc., but individually rather than an enhancement to the overall taste of the dish. For me, pasta is a speedy dish that needs a positive flavour sauce to go with it - I have made better pasta dishes in half the time.
1st Apr, 2015
OMG soooooooo good! I'm not usually a fan of fish + creamy sauces but this is an absolute winner! FYI for people leaving out the capers and/or anchovies and then saying it's bland - that's where the flavour comes from so please give it a go, even if you wouldn't eat them normally. You won't be disappointed!


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