This creamy pasta and broccoli recipe is a simple vegetarian dish that comes together in under 15 minutes! It does not contain any cream, is low in fat, super easy to make and perfect as a family dinner.
Boil the pasta in salted water as per packet instructions. Meanwhile prepare the broccoli. Cut the stem, then place it on one end on top of a cutting board. Remove the tough outer layer by cutting downwards all the way around. Roughly chop the stem along with the florets.
Make broccoli rice by pulsing the chopped broccoli for a few seconds until it starts forming a crumbly mixture (don't overblend and turn it into a paste). It's best to do this in batches to get even crumbs.
In a large pan heat up the oil, add the garlic and broccoli, season and cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until softened stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and transfer into a large bowl.
To make the sauce heat up the butter, add the flour and whisk until the mixture becomes thick and smooth. Add the milk, increase the heat and cook stirring with a whisk until the sauce thickens and starts bubbling up. Lower the heat then simmer for 1 minute whisking all the time.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the parmesan and ricotta until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Stir in the pasta, broccoli, add a splash of pasta water and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.
Use the florets as well as the stem of the broccoli.
Do not overblend the broccoli. Unless you have a very large blender I recommend pulsing the broccoli in 2 batches.
You can make the broccoli rice by simply chopping the broccoli quite finely, but this will take longer to do.
Cooking the broccoli for 5-6 minutes should be enough if you like your broccoli al dente, slightly crunchy, but you can cook it longer if you prefer. Try not to overcook it though as it might lose its bright green colour and become too soft.
Use fusilli, penne, macaroni, farfalle, tagliatelle or spaghetti.
Reserve the water from cooking the pasta to add into the sauce if needed.
Delicious served as is but you can also enjoy it with chopped parsley or basil, fried garlic for an extra garlicky finish or parmesan shavings.
Best served immediately. You may have to add a splash of water or milk and adjust the seasoning when reheating the pasta.