Zesty Broccoli & Goat’s Cheese Orecchiette

Donal Skehan cooks up a quick and tasty pasta dish.


  • 300 g orecchiette or other smaller pasta pieces
  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 150 g goats cheese
  • a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and drop the broccoli florets in.
  2. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender, remove from the pot and refresh in a bowl filled with ice cold water.
  3. Bring the pot of water back to the boil, add in the orecchiette and cook according to the instructions on the packet, or for about 12-15 minutes until al dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking add a good drop of olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the chilli flakes and garlic for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Drain the broccoli and then add it to the pan, tossing to combine.
  6. When the pasta is cooked drain it and place it back in the pot.
  7. Toss through the broccoli, chilli and garlic and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
  8. Add the lemon zest and crumble in the goats cheese.
  9. Gently fold the goats cheese in so that it doesn’t break up and melt completely.
  10. Serve the pasta straight away with a final drizzle of extra version olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Top tips
  1. Try using different types of pasta, I'm using orrichiette but you could use, penne, fusili or rigatoni.
  2. If you end up with a glut of lemons, don't let them go to waste, you can zest and juice them and freeze them in resealable bags, perfect for adding a fresh zing to dishes just like this.
  3. Try and use the best quality extra virgin olive oil to taste. It's best used to dress salads and finish dishes and looses it's flavour when used at high temperatures.
  4. If you're worried about your pasta sticking together, don't add oil just ensure you have a large pot of water allowing the pasta the space to cook will make sure it doesn't stick. Also make sure not to overcook the pasta.



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