I had some leftover broccoli from the Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry so I decided to make this very healthy broccoli pasta dish. It was my first time cooking with orecchiette, which were these very fun little pasta shapes. They were the perfect sized pasta for the bite sized broccoli and the dish had a very enjoyable spiciness complemented by a bit of saltiness from the Parmesan. I’m excited to make variations to this dish by adding more vegetables, like mushrooms, onions, or even some tomatoes.

Spicy Orecchiette with Broccoli (adapted from Martha Stewart):

Yields 2 servings

  • 6 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound broccoli, stalks trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch rounds, florets separated into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan plus more for sprinkling

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and drain well.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until garlic is golden, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the broccoli and 1/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook until broccoli begins to soften, about 8 minutes.

Uncover and continue to cook until water has evaporated and broccoli is crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the pasta and 1/4 cup Parmesan and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta.

Serve sprinkled with remaining Parmesan.

Printer-Friendly Version