This Pasta with Broccoli and Capers is a plant based pasta recipe that you will turn to time and time again. So delicious and so easy!; It’s the perfect blend of flavors! Broccoli, pasta, garlic, capers, red pepper flakes, olive oil and topped with some freshly grated parmesan cheese! Fast and easy perfect for an busy weeknight dinner!
The Best Plant Based Pasta Recipe!
Here at the Sidewalk Shoes household, we try to eat plant based a couple of times a week. I’m not going to lie to you, a lot of times we miss the meat. We love chicken, beef, salmon, and don’t even get me started on pork!
So, eating plant based feels a bit like something we “have” to do, not something we “want” to do.
Until this recipe, that is. This is the best plant based pasta recipe!! As I was eating it, I kept pausing to think about how good it was. How it didn’t need a single thing added to it. That I would make it again because I liked it so much, not because it filled our vegetarian recipe for the week.
Vegetarian Vs. Vegan
This pasta recipe is so easy to change from vegetarian to vegan. All you have to do is omit the parmesan cheese! You can see in the photo above, I served it once without the parmesan. It was still so good, though being a crazy cheese lover, I preferred the one with parmesan cheese.
I did a little searching and found a recipe for How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese – so if you are vegan, you could give that a try. Be sure and come back and let me know how it worked!
What Makes this Pasta with Broccoli Recipe Work
Since I’ve tried a lot of meatless pasta recipes with varying degrees of success, I spent some time thinking about what makes this one work so well.
Mashing the garlic with the salt to create a paste – I think this mellowed the garlic flavor and allowed it to evenly flavor the dish.; A hint of garlic in every bite as opposed to bits of garlic.
A generous amount of olive oil – I paused when I saw the amount of olive oil it called for, but then I realized that it is the fat in the recipe. It’s what will carry the flavor through the whole dish. You could play around with using less.
Capers and Red Chile Flakes – a bit of heat and a bit of tang.
Broccoli – stems and florets cut into bite sized pieces. I think this is key. I’ve made lots of pasta with broccoli dishes and in all of the others, I used the broccoli florets, which resulted in either a bite of broccoli or a bite of pasta. Cutting both the peeled stems and the florets into small bite sized pieces allowed the broccoli flavor to go through the whole pasta dish.
Conchiglie Pasta – using a shell shaped pasta. The smaller pieces of broccoli and the capers could nestle in the shelled pasta – again making every bite perfectly flavorful.
Parmesan Cheese – don’t use pregrated. Buy a chunk of the real thing and grate it yourself.
Pasta with Broccoli and Capers
You’ll notice that I don’t have any step by step photos of how to make this recipe. That’s because I didn’t plan on blogging it. I didn’t expect it to be so good!
This was the first recipe I tried from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but as you can imagine it will not be my last.
It is fast and easy and totally delicious!
Looking for More Plant Based Recipes?
Pasta with Broccoli and Capers
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup capers rinsed
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli
- 1 pound conchiglie or any medium to small shell pasta
- parmesan cheese freshly grated, for serving
- fresh ground black pepper
- Start heating a large pot of water to boiling.
- Mince the garlic and using the flat side of your knife smash it into a paste with the salt and put in a large bowl. Add the oil, pepper flakes, and capers to the bowl.
- Thickly peel the broccoli stems. Cut the stems and the florets into bite sized pieces (I did about 1/2 inch size.)
- Add the broccoli and salt (I use a generous amount - you want the water salty like the sea) to the boiling water. Cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Scoop out the broccoli with a strainer and add to the bowl. Toss with the oil mixture.
- Add the pasta to the water and cook per directions. Drain and add to the pasta. Toss and adjust for seasoning, adding plenty of pepper.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.