orecchiette and broccoli
Print Recipe

Orecchiette with Broccoli

A classic Italian pasta dish from Southern Italy
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 large head of broccoli cleaned, stalks trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 1 small Spanish onion or shallot optional
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 box of orecchiette pasta you can also use fusilli, ziti or penne
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes depending on how much heat you like. Most of the heat gets cooked out during the cooking process
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of pasta water reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste about 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Place a large pot of water on stove to boil for the pasta
  • Cut up head of broccoli into florets
  • Finely dice garlic and thinly slice your onion
  • Pour 1/2 of your olive oil into a saute pan over medium heat and add the red pepper flakes
  • When oil is warm saute onions for 5 minutes
  • Add your garlic and cook another 2 minutes
  • Once onions are cooked through and translucent, add the broccoli to the same pan and saute until the broccoli is tender (adding any extra olive oil if needed- broccoli soaks up olive oil so add more if the pan seems dry) about 8-10 minutes
  • season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low
  • When pasta water comes to a boil salt the water with a good handful of salt (like the saltiness of the ocean) and cook pasta according to directions until al dente
  • When pasta is done reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then strain
  • Add pasta to saute pan and mix pasta in with the broccoli until well combined and adding reserved pasta water if it looks to dry.
  • Plate your pasta and finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese.
  • Enjoy!