15 Minute Buttery Cavatelli and Broccoli with Garlic

Charred broccoli and cavatelli pasta in a rich buttery garlic broth come together on the stove in under 15 minutes. Serve this simple but big flavor cavatelli and broccoli on those busy weeknights when you crave a cozy bowl of comfort.

white bowl of cavatelli pasta and broccoli sprinkled with fresh parmesan and crushed red pepper.
Cavatelli and broccoli can be made in 15 minutes for the perfect weeknight pasta dish.

Have a batch of my homemade ricotta cavatelli recipe (shameless plug: it’s beyond easy to make) and need a sauce to pair with it? Sink some cavatelli and broccoli into an amazing buttery, garlicky broth and sprinkle over plenty of parmesan.

I’m not sure I need to say anything more, do I?

What is cavatelli

white bowl of cavatelli and wooden bowl of parmesan with spoon
Homemade cavatelli that was made with a cavatelli maker.

First things first: cavatelli is typically a handmade pasta that looks like a little folded boat or bun. Whether you decide to make cavatelli from scratch or buy dried cavatelli pasta, cavatelli has a great way of holding sauce in its little chamber. And the garlic broth you’ll make will soak into the pasta beautifully.

Can’t find cavatelli? You can use potato gnocchi or orecchiette (little ear shaped pasta) instead.

Charred broccoli

When it comes to vegetables, I’m obsessed with any cooking method that adds flavor but brings out the best in the veggies.. Using a skillet to char broccoli on the stovetop is efficient and allows you to prepare the vegetable and the sauce in one pan.

Bonus! Easier cleanup!

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All about the sauce

close up of cavatelli and broccoli in a broth.
The broth based sauce is almost soup-like to make such a cozy dinner.

Let’s talk a sec about this simple brothy sauce. It manages to have a creamy mouthfeel even though it doesn’t have any cream thanks to thickened buttery chicken broth.

Plus it only takes like 10 minutes to come together!

What you’ll need

ingredients for cavatelli and broccoli on wooden board.
Broccoli, butter, broth and garlic are the main ingredients for this sauce.

Super simple and clean. In addition to cavatelli, you’ll need:

  • Broccoli. Or broccolini. I like using just the crowns broken into smaller pieces.
  • Whole garlic cloves. Sliced very thin with a sharp knife or mandoline if you’re feeling brave. A garlic slicer works too.
  • Broth. Chicken or vegetable works too.
  • Unsalted butter. If salted is all you have, that’s fine too but taste for seasoning before adding additional salt.

Broccoli tip

Don’t disturb the broccoli cooking in the pan so it has a chance to develop lovely smoky, charred edges.

-Josie + Nina

How to make cavatelli with broccoli

stainless skillet of charred broccoli.
Char the broccoli in a hot skillet.
garlic slices sauteed in oil in stainless skillet
Saute the garlic until golden (I probably went a little dark here).
chicken broth being poured into skillet of oil and butter sauteing garlic
Pour in the chicken broth and heat.
butter being added to cavatelli and broccoli broth in stainless skillet
Add in the cold butter.
skillet of garlic in broth with bowls of broccoli, cavatelli and parmesan.
The finished sauce ready for cavatelli and broccoli.
  1. Drizzle a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and season it with a little salt and pepper.
  2. Let the broccoli sit for a couple of minutes before flipping/stirring so that you get a nice char on one side. Cook until all sides are charred about 4 minutes total. Remove the broccoli from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add some butter and a little more olive oil to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the thinly sliced garlic and saute until golden brown.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and cook for about 5 minutes until the broth is bubbling. Whisk in the remaining cold butter until melted and allow to thicken slightly.

Pro tip

Finishing a sauce with cold butter adds richness and big flavor.

  1. Stir in cooked, drained cavatelli and charred broccoli tossing to coat with the sauce.
  2. Sprinkle over grated parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning and season with additional salt and pepper.

Cavatelli with sausage or chicken

Cook up some crumbled Italian sausage or my juicy chicken breasts to make it a more filling meal.

Storage and reheating tips

Storage. Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container or bag for up to 3 days.

Reheating. Heat leftovers in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Add water or a little butter as needed to loosen the sauce and get things going.

Freeze. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!

white bowl of cavatelli pasta and broccoli sprinkled with fresh parmesan and crushed red pepper.
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15 Minute Buttery Cavatelli and Broccoli with Garlic

Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:15 minutes



  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet with deeper sides over medium-high heat. Add in the prepared broccoli and season with a sprinkling of salt and crushed red pepper flakes.
    Do not disturb for 2 minutes to allow the broccoli to char (check one piece after about a minute to make sure your heat isn't too high or too low). Toss after 2 minutes and char on all sides. Remove to a cooling rack to remain crisp.
    2 T olive oil, 1 head of broccoli cut into small florets, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Melt 2 T of the butter and add a little olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic slices and gently cook for about 2 minutes.
    Pour in the chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Whisk in the rest of the cold butter and cool until melted and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and correct the seasoning.
    ½ cup unsalted butter, 6 cloves garlic, 1 cup chicken stock
  • Stir in the cooked cavatelli with the buttery broth. Pour in any reserved pasta water as needed.
    Toss with charred broccoli and grated parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over extra crushed red pepper for color and heat along with some fresh parsley or basil, if desired.
    1/2 lb cavatelli pasta, kosher salt and black pepper, Fresh grated parmesan cheese for garnish, fresh basil leaves or parsley
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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