Spaghetti with broccoli, garlic & chilli

Spaghetti with broccoli, garlic & chilli

This super quick pasta recipe is traditionally made with orecchiette. However, I think it also teams with many other pastas very well; and I’ve used spaghetti here. 

It may seem strange to boil broccoli until within an inch of its life, but it needs to be soft enough to be broken down into a thick sauce with golden garlic and dried chilli.  This method of cooking broccoli will also make a delicious topping for a crostini with some goats cheese or parmesan on top!

Serves 2


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 40g Parmesan, grated
  • 200g dried spaghetti
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Separate the florets from the broccoli. Next, using a peeler, remove the thicker outer skin from the broccoli stem and cut into small chunks.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the broccoli. Cook for 10 minutes or until the stalk is very soft. Drain but keep the water to boil your pasta in.

Salt the water a little more and cook your pasta as per the cooking instructions on the packet.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the sliced garlic and chilli flakes and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the garlic is golden brown.  Now add the drained broccoli to the pan and, using a wooden spoon, break up the vegetable, distributing it evenly amongst the garlic and chili.  Add a sprinkling of salt and a good grind of black pepper and continue to cook gently whilst the pasta is cooking, regularly giving it a mash around to break the broccoli up as you go.

Once the pasta is ready, drain well but reserve a small ladle of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and some of the reserved water to the broccoli pan.  Turn up the heat, stir regularly, and once most of the water has evaporated, turn off the heat and mix through most of the Parmesan.

Distribute into bowls and top with more Parmesan and black pepper.

2 Responses

  1. This would work great with orecchiette

    • Definitely! I think traditionally it would be made with orecchiette … did you find the citrus cake?

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