Simple Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Gentle Readers, sometimes simple is best. Such is the case with dinner earlier this week, basic ingredients combined to be more than the sum of their parts. Best of all, it’s the rare pasta dish that is filling enough to last over several meals, including lunchbox duty.

The ultimate leftover compliment.

The ultimate leftover compliment.

Simple Broccoli Pasta Recipe

1/2 box De Cecco Spinach Linguine (I am specific here for a reason, accept no imitations)
olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, whole but skins off
2 heads of broccoli cut into bite-sized spears
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper


1 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup milk
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, or a combo (~1/2 cup)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it boils, add salt. Add pasta and cook per directions. Do not overcook. Drain.

Don't hold back on the broccoli.

Don’t hold back on the broccoli.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a healthy dollop of olive oil and the garlic cloves over a strong medium heat. When you smell the garlic, add the broccoli spear, a touch of salt, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Toss and cook until broccoli is crisp tender. Do not cook to Southern mush. This is not the time.

Two cheese are better than one. From the bits and pieces bin at Whole Foods, Parmesan and Romano.

Two cheese are better than one. From the bits and pieces bin at Whole Foods, Parmesan and Romano.

3. Also meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, mix with flour to make a light roux, cooking just enough to mix the mixture and not brown it. Add the milk and whisk thoroughly. Cook until the mixture thickens, just a minute or so. Take off heat and add cheese and lemon juice. Stir.

4. Return pasta to cooking pat (sans water, note the draining above). Add the cheese sauce and broccoli. Toss. Thank me later.

This was so popular it was eaten many times, not always the case with us. It’s very green, very filling, and very full of flavor. What are you packing for lunch these days? Post a comment below. It’s wide open and awaiting your brilliance.

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