Tonight's Dinner: Broccoli Penne

Feb 7, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. ET

After a weekend of fast food or extravagant entrees, sometimes it's nice to start the work week off with something a little lighter. Pasta is the perfect choice; and this recipe is a nice alternative to the standard spaghetti and meatballs.

Pasta can be a wonderful alternative to a rich and hearty protein-based dinner. But sometimes when people think of pasta they think of thick meat sauces or creamy calorie-laden alfredo sauces. Well, pasta doesn't have to be heavy. Sometimes steamed vegetables and a little cheese are the perfect answer for a night when you'd like to be healthier. This recipe pairs broccoli and penne for the perfect answer to a meatless Monday.

Broccoli Penne


  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup grated romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Rinse broccoli. Trim and discard stem ends. Coarsley chop tops and stems and set aside.
  2. In a large pan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add broccoli, salt, pepper and water. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very soft and mashes easily with a fork, 20-25 minutes.
  3. While broccoli cooks, bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil in a large pan. Add penne and cook until tender to bite, 10-12 minutes. Drain and return to pan.
  4. Stir broccoli mixture into pasta along with cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Other Pasta Recipes

Easy Cheesy Cheddar Lasagna

Shrimp with Herb Pasta

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Sauce

Corned Beef Pasta