Broccoli Pasta

from Robert Rotenberg

From one of my favourite authors: in Il ladro di ferrandine, Montalbano receives a phone call at home in the evening and answers ‘Montalbano speaking. I am eating broccoli pasta, who the hell is disturbing me!’.  Here’s a clip: you don’t need an interpreter to catch the drift. Let’s prepare one of the favourite Inspector Montalbano Recipes…broccoli pasta.


  • 8 oz pasta (such as spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente.

Cut the stems from the broccoli and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, steam or boil the broccoli florets until they are tender but still bright green. 

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying-pan. Add the minced garlic, stirring often, and cook it for 1 or 2 minutes, until golden and fragrant, careful not to burn the garlic. 

Add the broccoli to the garlic and olive oil and add some starchy pasta water, so that it becomes almost a paste. Add the broccoli stems and drained pasta. Toss to combine. 

Season the pasta and broccoli with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot and enjoy your Pasta with Broccoli, one of the most famous Montalbano recipes!

Note: You can also add other ingredients to the dish, such as diced tomatoes, chopped olives, or crumbled sausage, to suit your taste.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: This is an easy recipe that can be the base for so many variations. You can also add different seasonings to give it a little pizzazz. I added chili flakes to the garlic and olive oil to give it a kick. 

Contents and images used with permission by author Robert Rotenberg. Robert Rotenberg is the author of six bestselling novels that have been translated into nine languages. His seventh novel, WHAT WE BURIED, set in part in Italy during World War II, is being published by Simon & Schuster on February 27, 2024. Rotenberg also works full time as a criminal law firm, Rotenberg, Shidlowski, Jesin, teaches writing to authors, law firms and business executives and is a screenwriter. For more information visit his website at