Simple, Stop-Trying-So-Hard Broccoli Spaghetti

July 12, 2018
23 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

This recipe is made with humble pantry staples like spaghetti, broccoli, and lemon, and it's an unusual marriage between Italian and Korean flavors. Unlike traditional cream pasta, this dish is served in a spicy, soul-warming broth whose base is an unlikely candidate: milk. —James Park

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: I'm a Chef—but Broccoli Spaghetti Was All My Family Wanted From Me. —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 8 ounces dried pasta, like spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves 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 Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
In This Recipe
  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, "al dente" if you can.
  6. Serve pasta with freshly cracked black pepper and more grated Parmesan cheese.

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