This delicious Alfredo Broccoli Pasta side dish checks all the comfort food boxes. And I mean if you're gonna eat vegetables, they might as well be covered in cheese! That's how I get the adults and kids alike to eat them anyway.
The base of this recipe uses my Restaurant Style Alfredo Sauce and it is the perfect flavor to mix up this tasty broccoli and pasta.
I like a big fancy pasta for this recipe. At least that's how my family refers to it. Something that is a tube, to hold more sauce, in this case, cellentani or cavatappi which is also a corkscrew shape.
And for the white wine, you don't need anything too fancy for this. You can use something you might drink, but I usually use something much less expensive for making sauce. With all the other flavors there isn't a need to use good wine.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
The first thing I do is set a pot of water on the stove for boiling the pasta. Then add the wine, garlic, and shallot to the pan and cook over medium heat until it reaches "au sec". This means the pan becomes nearly dry and a line keeps it shape when you run a spoon through it.
When the wine has reduced, add the cream and bring it to a simmer, until it begins to reduce a bit. When it stops boiling to the point it rises, stir in the parmesan cheese until fully melted. Keep stirring or it will stick to the bottom of the pan.
While the cream reduces, blanch and shock the broccoli in the boiling water before you cook the pasta. Then bring the same pot of water back to a boil and cook the pasta in it. Drain the water off the broccoli.
Transfer the pasta directly to the sauce when it is done cooking, along with the broccoli and about 1 cup of pasta water. Stir it all together and place in a baking pan and top it with more parmesan and some mozzarella cheese.
Bake the pasta until the cheese melts and begins to brown, 10-15 minutes. You can also turn on the broiler if needed to crisp up the cheese and get a little color on it.
Notes & Tips
There is no need to make more dishes, when the water for the pasta comes to a boil, toss the broccoli in first for 1 minute. Then bring the water back to a boil before adding the pasta to the pot.
The sauce should come together in the time it takes for the water to boil, blanch the broccoli and cook the pasta. You can make the sauce in a small saucepan, but I like to do it in a big pot so it can reduce quickly then I can toss the pasta and broccoli in it.
You can also just toss that pot, if it is a nice wide one like a dutch oven, right in the oven with the cheese on top after mixing everything together.
I have the two pots right on the stove next to each other when I am making this recipe, and I just transfer the pasta right into the sauce pot. You also want to add a big ladle, about 1 cup of pasta water into the pot too, this helps keep the pasta sauce super creamy.
You can really make this recipe with any green vegetable, like green beans, or peas too. I also sometimes even make it with cauliflower too.
Cellentani or Cavitapi is my favorite pasta to use for this recipe. I like something tubular that can soak up some of the sauce. But feel free to use any tube-shaped pasta you like.
If needed, in place of the shallot, you could use about a quarter of a large red onion. You want about ¼ cup. It just adds some great flavor to the final sauce.
If you do not want to use the white wine, you can use chicken stock in its place, and add a tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar to mimic the wine flavor.
I use parmesan just because it is classic. You could also use pecorino, asiago, or Padano cheeses in its place too.