Milky, Brothy Pasta with Broccoli

By James Park
July 12, 2018
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Author Notes: This dish is genuinely one-of-a-kind from its flavors to its visuals. The recipe is made with humble pantry staples like spaghetti, broccoli, milk, and lemon, and it's an unusual marriage between Italian and Korean flavors. Unlike traditional pasta that's coated with creamy sauce, this dish is served in a spicy, but creamy broth from red pepper flakes and milk.

This dish was my attempt to bring spicy flavors from Korean cuisine with an Italian approach using ingredients like parmesan cheese, cheese, and dry pasta. Don't be skeptical by its visual. Once you taste it, you will be amazed at how familiar ingredients can bring unique flavors.

The best part of this dish is its spicy broth! It's soul-warming, and you will be surprised how red pepper flake-infused milk broth is so flavorful, similar to some Korean soups.
James Park

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min

  • 8 ounces dry pasta, or any dry long noodle-shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  • 4 garlic, half sliced and half crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmasan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. When butter is melt, add sliced and crushed garlic and red pepper flakes until they are fragrant. Stir occasionally to make sure garlic and red pepper flakes don't get burnt.
  2. Once they are fragrant, add sliced onion and broccoli florets. Season them with salt and pepper. Toss everything until onions are translucent and florets are tender but still firm, for 3-4 minutes. Add lemon zest at the end and quickly toss everything again until it's fragrant.
  3. Add whole milk to the pot with salt and garlic powder and let it simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta, occasionally stirring, until very al dente (2–3 minutes less than package directions). Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  5. Using tongs, add pasta to milk broth. Cook everything over high heat and bring everything together with pasta water and parmesan for a minute or until the pasta is cooked when you taste.
  6. Serve pasta with freshly cracked black pepper and more grated parmesan cheese.

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