Spaghetti with Broccoli, Garlic, and Olive Oil

December 17, 2017

This is a dish I’ve enjoyed many times at Frank’s in the East Village. Frank Prisinzano, the chef himself, outlines some of the specific techniques he uses in his blog post here, and I’ve done my best to try and recreate the remaining steps here. I love Frank’s pasta recipes, including this one as well as his Pasta with Peas, Cacio e Pepe, and his Short Rib Ragú.

I recently read the cookbook/biography Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and really enjoyed the description of how those four elements are the key thing to think about when considering any recipe. The author, Samin Nosrat, breaks down all cooking techniques and recipes into their interactions with those four key ingredients. The book made me think of this specific dish in that it is so simple- it uses so few ingredients and steps that the four elements are showcased beautifully.

Salt, Fat, Acid,

  • 6 servings
  • 5 mins
  • 15 mins
  • 20 mins
  • Ingredients

    • 1 bunch broccoli
    • 1 pound thick spaghetti
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon dried chili flakes
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated



    1. Break the florets off the broccoli stem and cut them into uniform-sized small pieces. Peel the hard skin from the base of the stem and slice the stem on the bias thinly into discs.
    2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli florets for 4 minutes. Remove the florets and transfer into a bowl of ice water using a slotted spoon. Drain the florets in a colander.
    3. Cook the spaghetti according to the packaged directions in the same water.
    4. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the cooked pasta in a colander.
    5. In a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet, heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until the garlic is sizzling. Once the garlic has reached a golden color, reduce the heat, add the reserved pasta water carefully to make a garlic brodo (do this carefully as the initial combination of water and hot oil may splatter). Turn the heat back up to high ald let boil for a minute.
    6. Add the broccoli stir to coat in the oil. Add the strained spaghetti and parmesan cheese and use tongs to mix well.

    This recipe was adapted from:

      Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.