Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli

Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli

This pasta dish is probably about six years in the making.  To explain, I will need to take you back to my college days.  Back then, as now, I loved to cook and actually did cook often for roommates and friends.  There were a couple of restaurants in my college town I loved and another about 30 minutes away that was worth the drive every time.  What was that restaurant you ask?  It was…are you ready for it?

It was Olive Garden.  I can’t help it.  I ADORED Olive Garden in college.  I can’t say that I don’t adore it anymore, I just rarely go there.  Some things are better left in our college days I guess?  Anyway, Olive Garden was always my choice and it was my choice for two particular menu items: the tiramisu (amen?) and the Garlic & Herb Chicken con Broccoli.  That pasta, the chicken, the sauce.  You guys.  I am drooling right now.  Even now, years later, not even having tasted in in several years and I’m drooling just thinking about it.  I usually got about three meals out of it when I ordered it so obviously it was worth it.  Plus salad and breasticks?  D.O.N.E.

Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli

And now I’m not even exactly sure why it took me so long to recreate it.  Because honestly – my version: Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli – is super simple and the sauce is SO flavorful.  I can barely even start to describe it.  Let me just say that I might have stood over the pan “taste-testing” after the photo shoot.  And then I ate more cold, straight from the fridge, for breakfast the next morning.  It’s THAT kind of meal.  I chose to leave out the chicken but it would be an easy add to increase the protein of this meal.

You can probably guess the basic ingredients but the Star (sorry!) is Italian (Basil) Cuisine Cooking Oil from STAR Fine Foods.  Their new Cuisine oils are beyond amazing.  They are made with olive oil and infused with different flavors for cuisine cooking.  For example, the Italian oil is infused with basil which made a perfect base for my Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli.  I’ve tried the others, too and they are just as good.  (Ahem, you should pop popcorn in the Mediterranean Cuisine Oil and you should do so ASAP!)  You use the oil just as you use olive oil in dishes and automatically you get some additional flavor.  I promise the Italian Cuisine Oil will not disappoint!

Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli

PrintPrint Recipe

Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli

Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish; 4 as a side dish

Total Time: 25 min

Quick and simple weeknight pasta with broccoli and a (light) creamy herb sauce.


8 ounces pasta (cellentani, orecchiette, bowtie, penne, etc.)
1 Tbs. STAR Fine Foods Italian Cuisine Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh broccoli, stems removed, florets cut into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups cups beef broth, divided (or vegetable broth)
2 Tbs. corn starch
1/2 cup Asiago cheese
Salt & pepper to taste


Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, add the Cuisine oil to a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir constantly until toasted and fragrant. Add the broccoli along with a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook for about 6 minutes until the broccoli is slightly tender. Add the herbs and 1 cup of the broth. Stir and bring to a simmer, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk the remaining broth with the corn starch. Add the broth/corn starch mixture to the simmering broth in the pan and stir well until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli

This post is sponsored by STAR Fine Foods with whom I have an ongoing relationship for recipe development.  All opinions are 100% my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands I love!


18 Responses to “Garlic & Herb Pasta with Broccoli”

  1. #
    Sues — February 4, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    This is such a pretty dish! And I TOTALLY thought Olive Garden was about the coolest thing ever in college. I was obsessed with going there. This looks WAY better than anything you can get there these days 🙂

  2. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — February 4, 2014 @ 8:01 am

    Cassie, I am laughing so hard because in college, the Olive Garden was THE PLACE to go for a nice date. I mean–the breadsticks. The fact that you devoured this cold out of the fridge in the AM is the mark of a great meal. Pinned and can’t wait to try it!

  3. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — February 4, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    I totally was in love with Olive Garden when I was younger too, and sometimes SOMETIMES I still go and pretend that it’s “just another chain restaurant” but secretly I’m loving every single minute of it. This looks phenomenal, and making me totally wish I had a big bowl of pasta right this minute!

  4. #
    DessertForTwo — February 4, 2014 @ 9:30 am

    First, I’m obsessed with those oils, too! I love that they are made of all natural ingredients. I’ve been roasting shrimp in the asian style one–so good!

    Second, this sounds SO delicious. I could meet you for an Olive Garden date where I eat endless bowls of minestrone and at least 2 whole baskets of bread sticks. Hold the dessert, I need more bread, lol!

  5. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver}} — February 4, 2014 @ 9:41 am

    I’m so totally in love with the Basil Cuisine Oils. They’re awesome! And this is gorgeous, I know what I’m making this week!!

  6. #
    Cookbook Queen — February 4, 2014 @ 11:02 am

    Oh my gosh, if this doesn’t need to be my lunch, I don’t know what does.

  7. #
    sheila — February 4, 2014 @ 11:09 am

    This is the kind of thing I crave!!!

  8. #
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal — February 4, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    Yum… now here’s a satisfying dinner (or lunch!) dish 🙂

  9. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — February 4, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

    This garlic and herb pasta looks like pure comfort food. But I’d still feel good about eating it, you know, because of the broccoli!
    I love Olive Garden too – I actually ate there recently – SO good. I could eat their salad and bread sticks until I popped!

  10. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — February 4, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

    I see a carb coma in my future 😉 love that STAR oil!

  11. #
    Julie — February 4, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

    I LOVE basil oils, and this broccoli-pasta dish looks great!

  12. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — February 4, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

    Garlic, herbs, and broccoli are three of my favorite things so I know I’d love this pasta!

  13. #
    Joanne — February 5, 2014 @ 7:18 am

    This is weeknight meal perfection! simple but AWESOME flavors. Can’t go wrong.

  14. #
    Carla | Carla's Confections — February 5, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    This pasta looks amazing! My husband would die over it! He loves broccoli 🙂

  15. #
    michael — February 5, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

    Your pasta with broccoli looks delicious, love broccoli with pasta. Love Olive Garden too, I could stay there all day eating their salad, their dressing is great! 🙂


  16. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — February 19, 2014 @ 7:46 am

    This sounds delicious! it’s always such a boost when you finally manage to perfect a recipe!


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