I'm so excited to bring this recipe to you today! A friend of mine actually gave me the idea for this recipe when she served it at a summer party a few years ago. Since then I've added my own twist to the dish. Perfectly al dente mezzi rigatoni is tossed with garlicky broccoli and sun dried tomatoes, then tossed together with creamy buffalo milk mozzarella bites (bocconcini) that melt right into the pasta. I'm pretty sure this will become one of your favorite go-to pasta dishes! You'll want to put this rigatoni pasta with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes into your meal rotation because it's super easy, quick and especially perfect for weeknight dinners and can also be made gluten-free. It's become one of my faves to serve at summer gatherings because it can be eaten warm or at room temperature.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Pasta- I recommend using either fusilli, penne rigate or these mezzi (or half) rigatoni for this dish so that all the flavor from the garlic, oil, and bits of veggies can stick to the pasta for a perfect bite every time. Use gluten-free pasta to make this dish gluten-free.
- Broccoli Florets- I use store bought broccoli florets in the bag. They're easy to use because they are pre washed and ready to go. However I do recommend that if your florets are still large, to cut them even smaller so that you don't end up with huge chunks of broccoli in your dish.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes- You can use your favorite store bought sun dried tomatoes but be sure to get them packed in oil. You will need it for this recipe.
- Mozzarella di Bufala - There really is no comparison between regular mozz and buffalo milk mozz. It's way more creamy and I love that it also comes in little bites. In Italian, they are called bocconcini. I recommend Buf Creamery Mozzarella. Feel free to use regular bite size mozzarella if you prefer.
- Dried Oregano and Fresh Basil- Don't skip adding in some fresh herbs like basil. Dried oregano has a fragrant punch and gives the dish a nice Mediterranean flair.
- Pine Nuts- The lemony flavor of the pine nuts adds another dimension of flavor. I like to crush up the pine nuts so they get into every bite. You can omit nuts if allergic.
- Parmesan Cheese-What pasta dish isn't complete without real, freshly grated parmesan?
How To Make Rigatoni Pasta with Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Do all the prep work for the vegetables, herbs and garlic and begin cooking the pasta. Don't overcook the pasta it should be cooked al dente for best flavor and texture.
- In a separate sauté pan cook the broccoli with the garlic. It's important not to overcook the broccoli either. You want a little bit of a bite to it. Once the broccoli looks like it's softened a bit, add in the sun-dried tomatoes and dried oregano.
- Add the pasta to the sauté pan with the vegetables then toss in your herbs, crushed pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Make sure to season with salt and pepper as you're cooking.
If you liked this recipe, you may also like Farfalle with Artichokes and White Beans.
Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 1 lb mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate
- reserve 1 cup of the salted pasta water
- 4-6 cups broccoli florets break up pieces if too large
- 8 oz jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil chop tomatoes into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup reserved oil from sun dried tomato
- 8 oz container of bite size Buf Mozzarella di Bufala water drained and cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup crushed pine nuts
- handful of fresh basil chiffonade
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- coarse Kosher salt
- fresh pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add half the reserved oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli florets and a good pinch of salt. Add about an ounce of the pasta water and give it a quick toss. Cover and cook the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until it's slightly softened.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan and combine with the broccoli (they do not need any cook time). Toss in the drained cooked pasta, mozzarella and drizzle on the remaining oil. If the pasta seems dry add more pasta water or you can moisten with a bit more of the sun dried tomato oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.