Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce

Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce - a simple Italian vegetarian pasta that is full of flavor and nutrients! |

4.8 from 64 reviews

Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce – a simple vegetarian pasta dish hailing from Tuscany that is easy to make, healthy and oh so delicious!




  1. Steam small broccoli florets until very tender (easily pierced with a fork)and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions, and save some hot pasta water when you drain.
  3. In a large pan, saute the garlic and chili flakes in the olive oil, over medium heat until fragrant and golden, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the miso paste (or anchovy), then add steamed broccoli,  salt, pepper and the broth.
  4. Bring to a gentle simmer and start breaking apart the broccoli with a metal spatula into tiny pieces. As it cooks it will get easier to break apart. You want the broccoli to basically melt down into a “sauce”.  Continue simmering gently on low heat until half of the liquid evaporates and it becomes the consisancy of a thick sauce, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. If it seems watery and separated, just keep cooking it down. It won’t be smooth- but just broken down and very very tender.
  6. Add the pasta. Toss well. Add more pasta water if you like it a little more ” saucy.” Taste for salt, adding more along with pepper, chili flakes and lemon zest.
  7. Divide among bowls and top with any of the garnishes you like. Grated Parmesan or pecorino  adds depth and salt, lemon zest adds a nice brightness, which I highly recommend and a drizzle of truffle oil elevates.
  8. Enjoy!


Sometimes I’ll halve the pasta (if cooking for two) and make this with the same amount of broccoli sauce, boosting the broccoli part. Just sayin’.;)

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