Tenderstem Broccoli and Anchovy Pasta



150g (5.3oz) wholemeal pasta

250g (1/2lb) tenderstem broccoli

1 small tin (50g/1.8oz) of anchovy fillets, drained OR 25g (0.8oz) sliced almonds or pinenuts

1 clove crushed garlic (you can use paste or granules if easier)

Dried chilli flakes to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

30g (1oz) grated Parmesan

Recipe Summary

Broccoli (like other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale and cauliflower) is rich in sulphur compounds that can help reduce joint inflammation. It’s also a good source of vitamin K which studies suggest may help slow or prevent joint deterioration in osteoarthritis. Anchovies supply omega 3 fish oils. These fatty acids have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you really can’t stand anchovies or following a low salt dietary regime, pine nuts or almonds are a great alternative as they are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E (studies show people with arthritis tend to consume less of than their peers).

Traditionally, this dish is made with orrechiette (a pasta shape that translates as ‘little ears) but I prefer wholemeal spaghetti. It’s higher in fibre so keeps you fuller for longer but, more importantly, I think the earthy taste better suits the dish. There is no chopping involved in this recipe and you can make it all in one pan so it’s a good recipe for those with sore hands or arms. If you find garlic tricky to deal with I recommend buying dried granules or a paste to make things easier.


Put the pasta on to cook in a large saucepan. Cook according to timings on packet.

Add the broccoli for the last 3-5 minutes of cooking time, depending on how al dente you like it.

Drain in a large colander.

Return the saucepan to a medium heat and pour in the tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes and anchovies (or nuts). Heat for a minute or until the garlic softens, then add the pasta and broccoli. Give everything a good stir to ensure it is evenly coated. Seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.

Serve topped with the grated Parmesan (no more than a matchbox sized piece).

Nutrition Information
Nutritional values for 1 serving 
Energy425 kcal
Total fat10.3g
Saturated fat1.6g

FFQ Information
Food GroupFood item
FISHOily fish e.g. sardines, salmon, fresh tuna etc
RICE, PASTA & PIZZAWholemeal pasta
EGGS & DAIRYCheese e.g Cheddar, Brie, Edam
PULSES, NUTS & SEEDSAll nuts excluding roasted peanuts
VEGETABLESBroccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts