A warming -- and simple -- broccoli and pasta dish

December 26, 2012 10:07:05 AM



Whenever I have too little time and too few ingredients on hand -- or when I've been eating too much meat -- I cook up some broccoli pasta. 


This dish is so economical it's almost ecological. I use all of the broccoli, not just the florets. For years I used to trash the stems, but the stems are also plenty edible. Just peel off the skin, cut them up, and you're ready. 








Start to finish: 30 minutes 


Servings: 4 




1 large head broccoli (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds) 


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 


Kosher salt  


1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste 


1 quart low-sodium chicken stock 


1/2 pound whole-wheat capellini pasta 


1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 




  • Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Position one of the racks in the top third of the oven.  


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 


  • Cut the broccoli, including the stems, into 2-inch pieces. Peel any thick stem pieces to remove the thick skin. 


    On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange the broccoli in a single layer. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle with salt to taste and toss well. Place on the top oven rack and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is crisp tender and slightly brown at the edges. Transfer the broccoli to a large skillet, add the pepper flakes and the chicken broth, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 


  • When the water in the large pot comes to a boil, add a hefty pinch of salt and the pasta. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, or until the pasta is limp but not quite cooked through. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the broccoli pan. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt to taste. Ladle into shallow soup bowls and serve with crusty bread.