Joe Wicks’ broccoli carbonara

A second helping of the quick-cook, delicious and healthy meals that the Body Coach serves up for his own young family to enjoy.

broccoli carbonara
Andrew Burton


1 head of broccoli, stalk removed
250g linguine
200g cubed pancetta (you can use either smoked or unsmoked)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 egg yolks
Freshly ground black pepper
50g parmesan, finely grated, to serve

  1. Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to the boil over a medium-to-high heat. Place the trimmed broccoli crown in the pan and cook for 3 minutes, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Leave to steam dry for a minute.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in the same pan you cooked the broccoli in, to save time and washing up.
  3. While the pasta’s cooking, put the broccoli in a food processor and finely chop using the pulse mode (or chop by hand).
  4. Place a large frying pan over a medium-to-high heat and cook the pancetta for a few minutes until golden and its fat has been released. Lower the heat a little, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the frying pan. Continue heating and stirring for a minute, allowing the pasta to soak up the flavour of the pancetta and garlic.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add some of the reserved pasta water (about three-quarters of a cup) and the egg yolks, and stir to create a creamy sauce. Don’t be tempted to put it back on the heat or you will end up with scrambled eggs – the residual heat will gently cook the egg, creating a lovely glossy sauce. Add a little extra pasta water if it seems too dry.
  7. Stir in the blitzed broccoli and season with plenty of black pepper (you shouldn’t need to add any salt as the pancetta and parmesan are both salty). Sprinkle over the grated parmesan and serve.

TIP Keep the broccoli stalk, trim it and eat it raw as a snack, sliced in a slaw or added to a vegetable soup.

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Joe's family food
Our recipes are from Joe’s Family Food by Joe Wicks, which will be published by Bluebird on 10 June, price £20. To pre-order a copy for £17 until 14 June go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.