Caitlin Bensel
Hands-On Time
30 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins

The concept of sneaking veggies into a pasta dinner has long been marketed at parents of finicky children, but who are we kidding? Adults can need help packing vegetables into their meals, too. Broccoli is the base of this vibrant emerald sauce, which is silky smooth thanks to pasta water, which adds starchiness and body. The result is gorgeously green and richly delicious. Prep tip: If your broccoli has a long stem, use a vegetable peeler to take off the rough, outer layer. Since this sauce freezes well, you could also make a double batch and freeze half for later.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook broccoli in a large pot of salted water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, shaking off excess water. Set aside.

Step 2

Return water in pot to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water in a small bowl. Return drained pasta to pot.

Step 3

Blend reserved 1 cup cooking water, broccoli, Parmesan, oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Step 4

Add broccoli mixture to pasta in pot and toss to coat. Serve pasta topped with ricotta and crushed red pepper, if using.

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