Broccoli Pasta

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Broccoli Pasta with garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese is a light, flavorful main dish or a perfect side with grilled chicken or steak.

Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli Pasta

Simple yet satisfying is what I love the most about this dish. While I will never turn down pasta in a cream sauce, this lighter version with lemon and garlic is so good with broccoli and noodles.

Pasta is a pantry staple for me. I have 4-5 kinds on hand at all times. My must-haves are elbow, penne, spaghetti, fusilli, and egg noodles. Pasta combined with a vegetable, sauce, and protein make for easy go-to meals.

When cooking pasta I always reserve a cup of water just in case I need it when finishing the dish. If the pasta gets too dry or the sauce needs a bit more liquid you will be glad you did too. You will definitely need a splash of it for this dish.

Simple Broccoli Pasta

Pasta with Broccoli

When choosing broccoli, look for heads that are even in color with no yellow spots. Broccoli with yellow spots is likely to be not as fresh and may taste bitter.

The broccoli cooks quickly and stays tender yet firm in this dish. A quick blanch in the boiling pasta water keeps a bright green color and fresh flavor. The slightly sweet taste of cooked broccoli contrasts nicely with the light lemon, and butter.

If you have broccoli leftover from boiling or steaming it for another dish it can be used with the pasta. Cut it into small florets and add it after the pasta is cooked and drained.

The broccoli will heat nicely when it all goes in the pot. Extra roasted or grilled broccoli adds a nice charred flavor.

Broccoli Pasta Recipe

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds.
  2. Scoop out and reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water and drain everything into a large colander. (This is a good one.) Do not rinse the pasta.
  3. Return the cooking pot to the stove over medium heat. Warm the oil and melt the butter. Add the garlic and red pepper. Stir and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot. Toss well to coat and add about half of the reserved pasta water. Add the lemon and cheese. Toss to mix throughout. Season with salt.
  5. Add additional pasta water ONLY if the pasta looks dry. Taste the pasta and add more salt, only if needed. Serve with additional cheese and pepper flakes, if desired.

Broccoli Side Dishes

Pan Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan is a classic cheese and broccoli combination that is elevated with a sweet note from a sprinkling of brown sugar.

Air Fried Broccoli is both simple and delicious. The air frying process creates crispy broccoli florets with tender stems.

Classic cheddar cheese sauce was meant for vegetables. This is a creamy, flavorful, and rich sauce and it is a staple in our home. We love it best on broccoli!

Cheesy, savory, and creamy with a toasted, buttery top broccoli gratin is about to become the most requested vegetable by your family.

Simple Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli Pasta with garlic, lemon, and parmesan cheese is a light, flavorful main dish or a perfect side with grilled chicken or steak.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces bite-size pasta i.e. large elbows, shells, fusilli, penne, egg noodles
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 cups broccoli, about 1 pound cut into very small florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to taste
  • ¼-½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1 juice of a medium lemon about 3 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano adjust to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds.
  • Scoop out and reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water and then drain everything into a large colander. Do not rinse.
  • Return the cooking pot to the stove over medium heat. Warm the oil and melt the butter. Add the garlic and red pepper. Stir and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Reduce the heat to low and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot. Toss well to coat and add about half of the reserved pasta water. Add the lemon and cheese. Toss to mix throughout. Season with salt.
  • Add additional pasta water ONLY if the pasta looks dry. Taste the pasta and add more salt, only if needed. Serve with additional cheese and pepper flakes, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 324kcal · Carbohydrates: 49g · Protein: 12g · Fat: 9g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 4g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 13mg · Sodium: 313mg · Potassium: 429mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 3g · Vitamin A: 746IU · Vitamin C: 81mg · Calcium: 111mg · Iron: 1mg
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Broccoli Pasta Recipe

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