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orecchiette with broccoli and lemon on a patterned plate with lemons and parmesan

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon

This quick and easy Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon is a perfect weeknight dinner. It's loaded with veggies, comes together in a flash, and is simple yet still sophisticated. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Broccoli, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 499kcal


  • 1 bunch broccoli about 1 1/2 lbs / 700g
  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • freshly grated parmesan


  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil over high heat. 
  • Roughly break the broccoli into florets and chop the stems. Add to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the broccoli from the water and onto a clean kitchen towel. Allow the broccoli to cool slightly.
  • Generously salt the same water, and add the orecchiette. Stir to break up the pasta, and then cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. 
  • Add the garlic, and cook gently until fragrant, careful to not let the garlic brown. 
  • Squeeze the water from the broccoli and transfer to a cutting board. Chop the florets and stems into small pieces, and then transfer into the pan with the garlic. Add the lemon zest and red pepper flakes. 
  • When the pasta is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer it directly into the pan with the broccoli, adding a little pasta water as you do so. 
  • Toss well, add a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. If needed, add a bit of extra pasta water to thin it out. 
  • Serve with freshly grated parmesan and wedges of lemon to squeeze over top. 


  • Nutrition values are an estimate only


Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1020IU | Vitamin C: 150.8mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2.5mg