Pasta Aglio e Olio with Broccoli

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
This Pasta Aglio e Olio with Broccoli is an adapted version from the original style recipe called spaghetti Aglio.

We love to make the authentic version but occasionally change it up a bit like this basic recipe.

Anything you like can be added, it can be any vegetable, the simple recipe is made with a garlic olive oil sauce and the coated pasta is flavorful in every bite.

Simple pantry ingredients will have this dish on your tables in less than 30 minutes.

The topping is a toasted buttered bread crumb that is sprinkled on top at the end.

This is a nice light meal, especially during the warmer months, and is perfect to take along to a cookout, and even taste great cold!

We love Italian pasta dishes like Pasta Fagioli, Chicken Parmesano Fagioli Pasta Ceci three authentic recipes mom use to make years ago and I still do in her memory.

Scroll down to this easy recipe and I will also provide some other optional suggestions to add to your pasta if you want other vegetables, seafood, or meat in it.

this is an Italian penne pasta with sauteed broccoli garlic and oil with a bread crumb topping

What is Aglio

Well, if you have never heard of this style of pasta it originated in Naples and is a traditional Italian pasta dish.

Made with slightly sauteing garlic in olive oil and loaded with grated cheese and a few red pepper flakes and maybe a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Over the years I have made pasta Aglio e Olio several different ways with many other additions, but the original Authentic version is just plain and simplified.

My favorite garnish is toasting some Italian bread crumbs and adding them on top when the pasta is mixed and completed.

this is penne pasta with toasted bread crumbs, garlic, oil, broccoli, mushrooms tossed in a casserole dish

Ingredients You Will Need

  • pasta of choice
  • reserved pasta water
  • good grade olive oil
  • broccoli, broccoli rabe or broccolini
  • garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • minced fresh parsley
  • butter
  • freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian flavored bread crumb

pasta with garlic and oil toasted bread crumbs topping with sauteed broccoli

Optional Additions and Suggestions:

  • diced tomatoes,
  • sauteed spinach
  • artichoke hearts
  • roasted pepper
  • sliced Italian hot sausage cooked
  • grilled shrimp,
  • cubed cooked boneless chicken breast or steak sliced thin
  • cooked sliced seasoned salmon
  • sauteed seasoned cubed veal
  • hot ham capicola

broccoli versus broccoli rabe

Broccoli, Broccolini and Broccoli Rabe

A few facts: Broccoli rabe is not broccoli. It's one of the biggest misconceptions about this vegetable but delicious in this recipe as well as regular broccoli.

The closest relation to regular style broccoli florets is Chinese broccoli and broccolini are both in the same family as the regular you're more familiar with.

Broccoli rabe is something else entirely. It’s actually more closely related to a turnip, even though it has those little buds, similar to those found on broccoli florets, it has a stringy texture and on the bitter side, however, it's one of my favorites and goes great in this dish.

All vegetables should be sauteed first or steamed to give it that extra garlicky flavor.

this is a photo of broccoli and fresh garlic


  1. use a good cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  2. Pecorino Romano cheese should be freshly grated not pre-grated in a bottled
  3. saute the vegetables you decide to use in fresh garlic
  4. toast the breadcrumbs in butter or olive oil
  5. add red pepper flakes for heat for best results in flavors of this classic dish
  6. Chicken cutlets or any types of boneless cooked meats and cooked seafood tossed into this dish taste great no matter what you use.

this is a frying pan full of olive oil and garlic


  1. Do not brown garlic, saute at the most to give the oil flavor around 2 minutes.
  2. Always use fresh broccoli or whatever you're adding with the exception of artichoke hearts, those are found frozen or canned and do need to be heated.
  3. The authentic version leaves out any additions (meats, vegetables) and uses spaghetti proceeding with the recipe eliminating the bread crumb topping.

penne pasta boiling

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Easy Recipe

If you're looking for a 30-minute meal,  or to use up leftovers, this one is so versatile and can be adapted and recreated easily.

I love pasta with garlic and oil and this is a quick dinner for any busy family meal night to prepare.

Take a look below at this printable recipe card and see the simple pantry ingredients and change it up any way you like!

Pasta Aioli with Broccoli

Pasta Aglio e Olio with Broccoli

Yield: 6
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 30 M
This is a quick Italian specialty pasta dinner that is made with garlic and oil sauce called aglio. We sometimes add different vegetables to it just about every time depending on what we have. Today is penne pasta with the addition of broccoli made in less than 30 minutes!


  • 1 pound of any pasta of choice (I used Penne Pasta Spaghetti is used for an original version)
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water kept warm
  • 1/3 cup good grade extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head steamed broccoli, Chinese broccoli,( sauteed in garlic broccoli rabe) or broccolini drain off any water
  • 8 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumb toasted with 1 tablespoon butter
  • Optional: diced tomatoes, sauteed spinach, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, sauteed sliced Italian hot sausage, grilled shrimp, cubed cooked boneless chicken breast, steak sliced thin cooked,  cooked sliced seasoned salmon, hot ham,  sauteed seasoned cubed veal


  1. Cook pasta of choice to package instructions, in saltwater,  reserving some of the pasta water.
  2. In a large frying pan big enough to hold the pound of pasta, add the oil, butter, and saute garlic for around 2 minutes.
  3. Add the steamed broccoli to coat with oil and garlic mixture along with red pepper flakes.
  4. Next stir in the reserved pasta water or wine whatever you prefer.
  5. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper to taste then stir in cheese and parsley.
  6. Cooking for 30 seconds.
  7. If using meats or seafood or any other vegetables fold them in.
  8. In a separate frying pan toast the bread crumbs in 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil until golden around 2 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle on top of the pasta.
  10. Serve immediately garnished with more grated cheese.
  11. Notes: If using freshly diced tomatoes just toss in at the end to heat for 30 seconds.
  12.  Sauteed spinach can be added same time as the broccoli in this recipe.
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broccoli and pasta aglio, aglio pasta, Italian garlic butter pasta, pasta with garlic and oil, Italian aglio pasta recipe
Italian pasta, 30 minute meals, easy meals, meatless meals
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