Light, flavorful and fresh, this Italian Pasta and Broccoli Recipe (Pasta Con Broccoli) is an easy pasta to whip up any time the mood strikes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Don’t you love a good pasta recipe? This one is so simple, so satisfying and one of those delicious recipes the whole family loves.
Here’s a few good reasons to make it:
- This pasta dish is downright delicious.
- It’s got really simple ingredients, is an easy recipe, and uses everyday ingredients like fresh lemon, olive oil, garlic, dried pasta and broccoli.
- This is one of those broccoli pasta recipes that makes a flavorful side dish or main dish meal. Serve it as is, or add some protein like sliced chicken.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full list ingredients and instructions please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Broccoli: Organic is best if possible, and regular broccoli, not broccoli rabe is best for this recipe.
- Butter: Unsalted, please.
- Olive Oil: Along with the butter, extra-virgin olive oil is the actual sauce for this pasta recipe.
- Parmesan Cheese: A big flavor booster.
- Fresh Lemon: Makes the broccoli sauce light and fresh tasting.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Add more if you like it spicy.
- Garlic: So good, so much flavor.
- Cheese: Use parmigiano reggiano, or pecorino romano cheese.
- Shallot: Mild and sweet and tastes just delicious in this recipe.
- Pasta: Use spaghetti or fettuccine, but other types of pasta would work well too.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: Essential seasonings.
Step-By Step Instructions
- Start by trimming the broccoli into florets. Cut off some of the length of the woody stem (cut some into rounds to use in the pasta if desired) then shave off the outside of the broccoli with a paring knife or vegetable peeler.
- Cut the broccoli into smaller florets and cook in a large skillet with a cup or so of water for 6-7 minutes..set aside.
- Boil pasta according to package instructions for al dente in a large pot of water (salted). Reserve a cup of pasta water to use later.
3. Cook the shallots and garlic in olive oil and butter with a wooden spoon- it’ll look like a lot of fat in the pan, but this is the sauce, so don’t be alarmed. Next, add in the fresh lemon juice.
4. Add the cooked broccoli back in as well as the pasta to the skillet, plus the Parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley. Toss everything to combine and serve with more cheese on the side.
Tips and Possible Variations
- You can definitely add some cooked, warm, sliced chicken breast to this pasta if you’d like.
- The red pepper flakes are optional, but just a tiny bit does add a lot of flavor to the recipe.
- Drizzle the pasta with a little olive oil for serving, along with more Parmesan cheese if desired.
- This recipe is very good right out the skillet or even at room temperature.
- Such a great vegetarian recipe too, that guests always appreciate.
- In a hurry for a quick dinner? This is a go-to recipe that’s ready to eat in no time.
- Serve this with a couple of other pasta dishes that can be prepped ahead. Try this summery pasta made simply with cherry tomatoes (it’s a huge reader favorite!), or with a scrumptious baked pasta like this creamy chicken pasta bake recipe or this very good baked pasta with chicken sausage.
- Have some salad too…you can’t go wrong with this fresh & crunchy one, or try this favorite recipe. I adore this Roasted Pear Salad with a pasta dinner too.
- Dessert! We need it, and we want it. Make it easy with these fabulous strawberry cheesecake bars, these outstanding butterscotch shortbread bars (dipped in melted chocolate) or these Mini Blueberry Pies. Delish!
Frequently Asked Questions
An airtight container works best, for up to 3 days.
You can certainly add sliced chicken breasts, rotisserie chicken or even spicy Italian sausage to add some protein to the recipe, or try cubed tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian option.
More Recipes to Try
- Broccoli Salad Recipe Without Bacon: A really delicious version of the classic broccoli salad.
- Baked Potatoes and Broccoli: A fabulous twice-baked potato.
- Healthy Vegetable Side Dish Recipes: A round-up of favorite healthy sides.
- Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake: A comfort food classic. Web story here.
- Parmesan Potatoes with Roasted Broccolini: A great side dish that everyone loves.
- Sweet and Spicy Almonds: The perfect snack before dinner!
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Pasta and Broccoli Recipe Italian
- ½ pound Fettuccine Half of a one pound box, dried
- 2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Shallot, sliced thin ½ cup
- 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 5 cups Broccoli, trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Zest
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes, optional
- Freshly Ground Black or Lemon Pepper
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated Plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
- Cook the fettuccine according to package directions for al dente. This should make about five (5) cups of cooked pasta. Before draining the pasta, pull out a cup of the pasta water (I use a coffee mug). Then drain the pasta, drizzle it with a little olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the shallot with a pinch of salt, and let it cook on medium heat for about four (4) minutes stirring regularly until the edges turn slightly crispy and brown. Add the crushed garlic and cook (and stir!) for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer this mixture, scraping all the butter and olive oil from the bottom, to a small plate or bowl.
- In the same skillet, add the cut broccoli with one cup of water and a big pinch of kosher salt on medium-high heat until the water evaporates and the broccoli is tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add a little more water to the skillet and another minute or two of cooking time if needed. Transfer the broccoli from the skillet to a plate or bowl.
- In the skillet, add the shallot/garlic/butter/olive oil mixture back in, as well as the lemon zest, lemon juice, a quarter cup (¼)of the pasta water and the red pepper flakes, if using, over medium heat for a minute or two to warm the mixture up. Add four or five turns of freshly ground pepper from your pepper grinder to mixture, then stir to combine. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the skillet, tossing gently with the rest of the mixture for 2-3 more minutes. There should be just enough sauce to coat all the ingredients. Add a bit more pasta water to the mixture if needed. Add in half of the parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley. Toss together, then serve with remaining cheese and chopped parsley.
- The red pepper flakes are optional, but just a tiny bit does add flavor to the recipe.
- Drizzle the pasta with a little olive oil when serving, if desired.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
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