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Broccolini and Bucatini

Serves 4

This pairing of pasta and broccolini or broccoli is a simple and delicious meal that is jazzed up by a touch of red pepper.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound broccolini or broccoli, trimmed into 3-inch long, thin florets
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for garnish, freshly shaved or grated
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 small Italian red chili pepper or Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When it comes to a full boil, salt the water and add the broccolini or broccoli and par-boil for about 3 minutes. Remove the broccolini or broccoli with a slotted kitchen utensil and cool in an ice water bath, then drain. Add the pasta and cook to al dente.

    Heads up: you will need a couple of ladles of starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chili pepper and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the thyme and stir, then add the broccolini or broccoli and heat through. Add the pasta and cheese and toss with a little starchy water to combine and coat the pasta. Garnish with additional grated cheese.