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What I love about this broccoli pasta is that it is made in no time and you just need with a few ingredients, so it is perfect a lazy weeknight dinner. I guaranty you, this recipe will please the entire family!
3 reasons why you should try this recipe !
This Italian broccoli pasta recipe has become one of my go-to recipes. and here are 3 reasons why you should try this recipe too:
- Quick: First of all this recipe is super quick! This recipe is ready in less than 30 min! Plus, you don’t need many utensils besides a cutting board, knife and a skillet. So, it saves time cleaning up the kitchen too.
- Few ingredients: I’m really a fan of recipes that taste great without requiring you to buy a lot of ingredients that you may not need later. For this recipe, you only need a few simple ingredients.
- Healthy: The icing on the cake is that this recipe is quite healthy, as long as you keep the amount of cheese reasonable. Broccoli is the base of this recipe and is rich in vitamins and nutrients. The lemon provides an extra dose of vitamin C. And in addition, by cooking the whole with olive oil, you benefit from good omega 3.
- Broccoli: I made this recipe with a regular broccoli and this is the only one I could find. The traditional Italian recipe is actually made with broccoli rabe, a vegetable that ressemble to the regular broccoli but with longer leaves and a shlighty more bitter taste. If you are lucky to find some, I can only recommend you to try it!
- Orecchiette: I choose orecchiette pasta as they go super well with creamy sauce. Orecchiette take their name from their shape which looks like little ears. You could also use other types of pasta like spaghetti or penne.
- Garlic: It couldn’t be an Italian recipe without garlic! I count about 1 clove of garlic per person, so two cloves for 2 portions.
- Parmesan cheese: The parmesan cheese or parmigiano reggiano is what will help give this sauce a creamy touch. You can replace the parmesan with pecorino romano cheese these.
- Lemon: Lemon adds a bit of freshness. Choose an untreated lemon so that you can the lemon zest to your sauce.
You will find the exact quantities in the recipe card.
Prepare the broccoli
The first step is to prepare the broccoli. To do this, start by cutting off the hardest part of the broccoli stem, then detach the broccoli florets. Divid them in small pieces.
The broccoli stem is actually edible, so don’t throw it away!
Chop the broccoli stem finely. You need much smaller pieces than for the florets so that both parts are cooked at the same time.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. When the water boils, add the broccoli florets and the chopped stem and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Remove the broccoli from the water using a slotted spoon to keep the water. You will cook you pasta in the same water to add some broccoli flavor!
Cook the pasta
Bring the broccoli water back to boil with a generous pinch of sea salt and cook the orecchiette pasta al dente as indicated on the package instructions.
Reserve about one cup of pasta water taken at the end of the cooking. Drain the pasta.
Prepare the broccoli sauce
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, pour two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
My tip: To keep the garlic from burning, pour a tablespoon of pasta water and stir well.
Then add the cooked broccoli to your skillet. Stir well. You want to mash some of the broccoli leaving some pieces intact. Season with salt and black pepper.
Add the cup of the pasta water to the broccoli mixture. The pasta water is very starchy and well make the broccoli sauce creamy.
The next step is to add your cooked pasta.
To finish, add the parmesan cheese. I count about one cup of grated parmesan cheese but you can add more according to your taste.
I also like to add some lemon juice and lemon zest to give a little bit acidity to my broccoli pasta. Mix well and I always like to finish this recipe with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with more black pepper and lemon zest.
More Italian recipes
- Italian Focaccia with Oregano
- Tomato and Burrata Salad
- Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino
- Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar and Fior di Latte
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do this recipe keep ?
This broccoli pasta can keep 3-4 days in the fridge. I recommend to store it in an airtight container.
How to pimp this broccoli pasta?
This is a quite easy pasta dish but you can pimp up these pasta by adding the following ingredients:
- red pepper flakes: you can spice up this recipe by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the garlic.
- sun-dried tomatoes: you can add sun-dried tomatoes to the broccoli mixture to add another layer of flavor.
- Pine nuts: You can add some roasted pine nuts to add a little crunch to these pasta.
Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, it always makes me very happy!
Broccoli Pasta (Italian recipe)
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- 250 g orecchiette paste or other type of pasta
- 1 broccoli
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon untreated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Black pepper
- Cut off the hardest part of the broccoli stem, then detach the broccoli florets. Divid them in small pieces. Chop the broccoli stem finely.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the broccoli for 5-7 minutes. Remove the broccoli using a slotted spoon.
- Bring the broccoli water back to boil with a generous pinch of sea salt and cook the orecchiette pasta al dente.
- Reserve about one cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta.
- In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes.
- My tip: To keep the garlic from burning, pour a tablespoon of pasta water and stir well.
- Then add the cooked broccoli and mash some of the broccoli with a wooden spoon. Leaving some pieces intact for the crunch. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Add the cup of the pasta water, the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zeste. Season again with salt and pepper. Mix well.