Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta e Broccoli

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

File this one under "Italian recipes so simple you'd almost overlook them." In the family of spaghetti with oil and garlic or with chile and anchovies is this pasta with broccoli. Under certain circumstances like, say, a harried weeknight or even a contemplative Sunday afternoon, anything more involved just seems needlessly complicated.

What really works with the famous pasta e broccoli is that if you cook it long enough, the parboiled broccoli breaks up into the pasta and almost melts into a pasta-clinging sauce when combined with the cooking water. Increasing the ratio of broccoli-to-pasta not only makes the dish a bit healthier, but better too. While this version is a simple one with garlic, pepper flakes, and Parmesan, another route might melt some anchovies into the oil and skip the Parmesan. Either way, this is, at the very least, a delicious way to eat your broccoli.

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