Broccoli ricotta pasta

This is my Mother’s recipe. It’s a simple but flavourful meal that can be put together fairly quickly with supermarket ingredients. The broccoli adds to the freshness of the dish, while the creamy ricotta adds an element of decadence. What I love about this dish apart from the flavour and ease of putting it together, is also that it’s incredibly filling. 


Broccoli ricotta pasta and serving bowl

Broccoli ricotta pasta portrait close up

Broccoli ricotta pasta by Antonia Curcio

Makes 4 – 5 servings


Broccoli pasta

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

1 medium head broccoli, florets cut into equal quarters (about 3.5 cups) 

1 ½ tablespoons quality olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or 9g minced garlic

300g penne pasta

Ricotta sauce

350g quality ricotta

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (20 grams), at room temperature

Pepper, to taste

Quality Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated to serve

In a large pot, bring water to a boil on medium heat, then add a tablespoon of salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 10 minutes.

Retrieve the broccoli with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Keep the broccoli water on the heat, as you’ll need to use it shortly to cook the pasta

In a medium frying pan on medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the crushed or minced garlic. Fry lightly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Remove from the heat.

Bring the broccoli water back to a boil, add the pasta and stir briefly when the water returns to a boil, to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Cook the pasta for the length of time stated on the packet.

While the pasta boils, prepare the ricotta sauce. In a large serving bowl, add the ricotta, salt, butter, pepper and 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Mash everything together with a fork until the ricotta sauce becomes smooth.

When the pasta is fully cooked, strain it well in a colander or slotted spoon and add it quickly to the ricotta sauce, along with the broccoli. Mix everything well and serve immediately while warm with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Buon appetito!

P.s – Looking for dessert? Try this tiramisú (no cream or alcohol).

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Broccoli and ricotta pasta
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