image description

Angel Hair Pasta with Trees and Cheese


Here’s one of our favorite quick fix pantry dinner ideas: Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli, Garlic and Cheese (or Angel Hair Pasta with Trees and Cheese).

We’ve all had those nights. Some of us have them on a regular basis. Nights when you haven’t thought of what to make, when you’ve gotten home late from work or you just didn’t feel like stopping at the market to pick up fresh ingredients. Those are the nights when you should open up your pantry. There’s likely to be a plethora of easy, healthy meals that you can quickly put together.

Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli, Garlic and Cheese is one of our favorites that literally takes four minutes once the water is boiling in your pot. Perfect for one of those nights you only have time to open the fridge door and sigh, “Diiiiiinner, where are you?”


1 large head of broccoli

1 pound angel hair pasta

2-4 cloves of garlic sliced paper thin (more or less)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

A pat of butter (optional)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Start a big pot of water boiling, then salt it to taste like the sea. Grab the broccoli and chop it up finely. Peel the broccoli stem and chop it up too. In a small pan, heat up the olive oil, add the garlic and gently sauté until golden. Add the butter and melt. Take off the heat.

When the pasta water is at a rolling boil, throw both the pasta and broccoli into the pot. Boil until the pasta is done (according to the pasta package) — about 3-4 minutes.  Drain well, then toss with the garlic mixture and Parmesan cheese. Toss up a salad, throw down a tablecloth and merrily sing, “Diiiiinner, here you are!”

Optional Additions (Add at the end of sautéing the garlic):

Freshly chopped herbs, like parsley and basil

A few teaspoons of capers

1 cup chickpeas

Red pepper flakes

A can of drained tuna

A squeeze of lemon

1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes.

Kids can:
Tear the broccoli into bits

Shred the cheese

Tear the herbs

Taste to make sure the noodles are perfect

In The Family Dinner book, we have a bunch of quick fix dinners that parents have shared with us. Do you have a favorite quick fix pantry dinner? If so, please share it with us all!



Join the Discussion

6 Responses

  1. Kirstin says:

    If you ever wonder what cooks eat on their day off… here is is… broccoli noodles and cheese, with plenty of garlic and hot pepper flakes. Comforting, fast, cheap and oh so tasty. Throw in some herbs from the garden… toss a salad and you have a perfectly happy dinner.

  2. [...] Recipe: Speedy Pasta In A Pan Recipe: White Bean and Tiny Pasta Soup Recipe: Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli [...]

  3. we have this often and add with toasted pine nuts. Instead of cutting it so small, we take medium size stabls and saute it after the garlic until it just begins to brown, then pour everything over your choice of pasta (we like penne) We use more garlic and probably 1/2 cup of EVOO. Love the one pot meal.

  4. silvia says:

    Hi, I am italian and I have a suggestion about this recipe, because I don’t think the broccoli “in trees” give to the pasta all their flavour!

    Personally I use “orecchiette” instead of “angel hair” pasta, but apart from that, I put in the boiling water with salt the pasta and the broccoli in very small pieces together. After dripping, I put again pasta and broccoli in the pot, I add anchovies in small pieces and grated parmesan (or more better “pecorino”) and I stir vigorously: the broccoli in small pieces became a cream that really gives a flavour to the pasta! Try it in this way and then tell me how it was… bye! ;)

  5. Sarah says:

    We make this all the time at our house. So easy!

Connect with Us


Recent Comments


2012 IACP Cookbook Award Finalist


CoomMomPicks Pick of the Year