A huge lemon tree, currently heaving with ripe fruit, takes pride of place in my backyard and as a cook, no day passes without an opportunity, to appreciate a lemon’s ability to transform the food I love. Here is a simple idea that I come back to, again and again, because it is utterly delicious and even better, it takes no time to put together!


Orecchiette with Lemon, Tuna & Broccoli

Orrecchietti, which translates to “little ears”, is a slightly chewy dried pasta which is perfect for drier sauces. This is a very tasty, quick pasta dish that has an excellent combination of salty and acidity. Serves 6

2 red onions, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
juice and zest of 1 lemon
600g broccoli, use stalks and heads, cut into small florets, like a large caper
2x 185g can tuna in oil, Italian style
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups passata
500g orecchiette, cooked as per manufacturers instructions
Parmesan to serve
In a wide, shallow pan fry onions in a generous amount of olive oil until softened. Next, add the garlic, chilli, lemon zest, parsley then fry for a minute or two until fragrant. Add broccoli and cook for a few minutes. Next add the tuna and combine. Pour in pasatta, bring to the boil then lower heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Add orecchietti, lemon juice and Parmesan. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.