Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli

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Sometimes the perfect dish is the simple.

The beauty of Italian cuisine is that just a few simple ingredients, when combined together, can produce absolutely delicious results. Only a few minutes of prep and a handful of ingredients can result in a gorgeous Italian pasta dish like this one. Orecchiette, or “little ears” in English, is a pasta we find ourselves returning to again and again. It’s shape allows the flavors of our veggies, cheese, and spices to collect in each individual noodle, giving you a burst of great taste in every bite.

This dish contains only a smattering of ingredients, but it’s big on flavor and nutrition. Broccoli is our standout vegetable here, contributing high fiber and a special combination of phytonutrients. These phytonutrients, working together, help the body to detoxify and cleanse itself, which aids in weight loss and promotes excellent health. Plus, broccoli is high in vitamin D, which many of our readers in colder, less sunny climates may be in need of! And cooking the broccoli, shallots, and garlic in extra virgin olive oil adds healthy fats to this dish.

As we mentioned, many Italian dishes only need a few key ingredients to really make a flavor impact. Red pepper flakes, black pepper, parmesan cheese, and garlic are all strongly flavored ingredients that will ensure that you keep returning to this delicious recipe. It’s so easy to prepare on a weeknight, but it’s impressive enough to serve to guests as well.

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Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli

Here is a scrumptious Italian dish with tender broccoli and orecchiette pasta that's simple and healthy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 2 cups
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 1 head of broccoli florets tough stem discarded
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes if desired


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions. Add broccoli in the last 5 minutes of cook time. Drain the pasta and broccoli.
  • In the bottom of the pot over medium heat add the olive oil and shallots and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds to a minute. Turn off the heat. Add back in the pasta and the broccoli mix and toss in the oil to coat. Add salt and pepper and toss. Toss in the red pepper flakes, if using. Add parmesan cheese to serve.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 298mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Paleo, Pasta, Vegetarian

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