Italian broccoli & salmon bake

Italian broccoli & salmon bake

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(261 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 25g plain flour
  • 600ml milk



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

  • 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 in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 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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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!
24th Mar, 2015
Very tasty and would make it again. A little more trouble than my usual mid-week teas but still doable. I used wholewheat pasta but otherwise followed the recipe, including seasoning well. We didn't find it bland. Don't make my mistake and think salmon & broccoli = tasty. It's high calorie and for a treat only In our house
3rd Mar, 2015
Excellent recipe. Will definitely do this again. Usually bored with salmon, but both my wife and I enjoyed this immensely. I served it with some steamed courgette and red pepper.
ifuamq's picture
19th May, 2015
Very tasty meal - use a good pasta - the difference is very noticeable....rather basic salmon and good pasta. And use the capers & anchovies - why does everyone leave them out - they really add something.
12th Jan, 2015
Made for myself and my 3 year old son. Both enjoyed it although I would say it needs a lot of seasoning (taking into account I left out the anchovies and capers) and i also found the broccoli over cooked for my liking so I would cook that for less time before adding to the dish. The sauce seemed very thin and I was stirring for ages assuming it would thicken- it seemed much less thick than your average white sauce but I realise it was fine as once you add the other ingredients and bake it keeps the dish perfectly moist.
2nd Jan, 2015
All the family loved it - even the fussy "don't like stuff all mixed together" kids! I used light creme fraiche instead of mascarpone and added dill and lots of black pepper for extra flavour. Seasoning is essential.
Barbora Briss
23rd Nov, 2014
delicious! I used linguine pasta and didnt bake it, it was creamy, whole family loved it! Bit big portions for 4 people!
Jacqui M
9th Sep, 2014
One of my favourite recipes to treat the family to (I say treat because it's not cheap to make). I omit the capers and anchovies though cause they're not my thing, and I use cream cheese instead of mascarpone as it's too expensive here in NZ.


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