Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta

A plate of Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta with a fork. pinit

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Experience the comfort and flavor of Italy with our Creamy Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta recipe. This delightful dish combines the earthy goodness of broccoli with the creamy richness of Parmesan cheese, all enveloping perfectly-shaped orecchiette pasta. Whether you’re seeking a quick weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing meal for a special occasion, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Join us on this culinary journey as we explore the art of crafting this mouthwatering Italian-inspired pasta dish.

Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta is a flavorful and comforting Italian-inspired dish that combines tender broccoli florets, al dente orecchiette pasta, and savory Parmesan cheese. While the precise origin of this specific recipe is not documented, it hails from the rich tradition of Italian pasta dishes.

  • Orecchiette pasta, which translates to “little ears” in Italian, is a distinctive pasta variety from the Apulia region of Southern Italy. Its shape, resembling a small concave disk, is perfect for capturing sauces and ingredients.
  • Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, has a long history in Italian cuisine. It is often featured in pasta dishes and pairs well with the flavors of garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil.
  • Parmesan cheese, with its rich and nutty profile, is a staple in Italian cooking and adds depth and umami to many pasta dishes.

Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta embodies the essence of Italian culinary traditions, offering a balance of textures and flavors that celebrate the beauty of simplicity and quality ingredients.

Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta

Creamy Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta is a delightful fusion of ingredients that come together to create a harmonious and satisfying meal. The creamy sauce, featuring Parmesan cheese, beautifully coats the broccoli and orecchiette, delivering a symphony of flavors in each bite.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 30 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 672.51 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


For the Pasta:

For the creamy Parmesan sauce:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Once the water is boiling, add the orecchiette pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.

  3. About 3 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli florets to the boiling water with the pasta.

  4. Drain the cooked pasta and broccoli in a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water, and set aside.

  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

  6. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

  7. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and garlic, whisking continuously until the mixture turns golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

  8. Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps in the sauce.

  9. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.

  10. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until it's fully melted and the sauce is smooth.

  11. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg if desired.

  12. Return the drained pasta and broccoli to the pot, pour the creamy Parmesan sauce over them, and gently toss to coat.

  13. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little reserved pasta water to reach your desired consistency.

  14. Serve the Creamy Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 672.51kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29.01g45%
Saturated Fat 13.71g69%
Cholesterol 57.41mg20%
Sodium 784.31mg33%
Potassium 481.44mg14%
Total Carbohydrate 77.81g26%
Dietary Fiber 2.77g12%
Sugars 12.52g
Protein 28.26g57%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • For added protein, consider adding cooked chicken, shrimp, or grilled tofu.
  • Experiment with other vegetables like asparagus or spinach for variety.
  • Enhance the sauce with a splash of white wine or lemon juice for extra flavor.
  • If you prefer a spicier kick, sprinkle red pepper flakes over the finished dish.
Serving Suggestions:
  • This Creamy Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta is a versatile main course that pairs well with a side salad, crusty bread, or a glass of white wine. It's perfect for both casual family dinners and special occasions.
Allergen Information:
  • Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta contains dairy in the form of Parmesan cheese. It may also contain gluten if traditional wheat-based orecchiette pasta is used. Individuals with gluten sensitivities should choose gluten-free pasta alternatives.
Wine or Drink Pairing:
  • This pasta dish pairs wonderfully with a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, as the wine's acidity and notes of citrus complement the creamy Parmesan sauce and brighten the flavors of the broccoli.
  • For a non-alcoholic option, enjoy it with sparkling water infused with a twist of lemon or a light and crisp apple cider.
Storage and Leftovers:
  • Leftover Broccoli Parmesan Orecchiette Pasta can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
  • To reheat, add a splash of water or milk to maintain the creamy consistency, and warm it in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave.
  • Leftover pasta can also be used as a base for frittatas, baked into a casserole, or enjoyed cold as a pasta salad with added vegetables and vinaigrette, ensuring that every delicious bite is savored.
Keywords: Broccoli Parmesan pasta, creamy orecchiette, Italian pasta recipe, quick weeknight dinner.

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