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Spicy Orecchiette with Broccoli


Broccoli adds a slight sweetness to this spicy vegetarian dish.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, September 2008


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 12 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 head broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broccoli and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. 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, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  3. To pasta in pot, add broccoli mixture, Parmesan (reserving some for later), and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve sprinkled with remaining Parmesan.

Reviews Add a comment

  • rafagwen
    9 JUN, 2016
    GREAT recipe. I've made this many times It was actually printed on the bag of Colavita orecchiette for years. Near the end of boiling the orecchiete, I put the chopped broccoli into the boiling water. Then I saute it. I noticed someone posted that it didn't have much flavor. For this reason I add green olives. :) I have also made this with ground pork and soy sauce, and it tastes very similar to pork dumplings. This is very good with grilled or roasted meat, and excellent all by itself!
  • marisa12
    11 OCT, 2011
    I enjoy this recipe as a main dish or as a side dish to chicken parm. It's fast and super simple.
  • d1johnson
    1 JUN, 2010
    This is one of my favorite recipes! To make things even easier (and for a year-round quick dinner recipe), I use high-quality frozen broccoli like Birds Eye Steamfresh.
  • StaceyA99
    2 MAR, 2009
    A little bland, I might add more red pepper flakes, lemon juice and chicken next time. Other than that, it was really good and like the previous poster, my husband liked it too (he's tough to please with pasta).
  • esmith1117
    9 SEP, 2008
    This recipe is great! My husband really liked it. I added sauteed mushrooms which gave it a great flavor.