Dinner, Italian

Vegan Spaghetti and Broccoli Aglio E Olio


This is a special dish my grandmother taught me to make when I was a teenager living with her. It was one of our favorite meals to share together.

Traditionally this dish gets it’s flavor from not only the olive oil and fresh garlic, but the piles and piles of parmesan cheese it’s loaded with.

To make this meal plant-based we simply subbed out the ingredients for dairy-free alternatives.

Don’t forget the garlic bread!

When serving this dish for guests, make sure to set on the table a little dish of red pepper flakes and another with more parmesan. Remember, dairy cheese is very salty, so include enough sea salt when serving to give it plenty of flavor.


  • 1 lb Spaghetti
  • 8-10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 cups Vegan Parmesan*
  • 4 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Starchy Cooking Water reserved
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes (to serve)

Notes: if you would like to make my homemade parmesan use this recipe http://bellavirtue.com/eat/vegan-parmesean-cheese/


  1. Boil water in a large stock pot.
  2. While the water is heating up, wash & cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Mince the fresh garlic.
  3. Boil the broccoli for 8 minutes. While it’s boiling heat up a large pan with plenty of olive oil to coat the bottom, when the oil is hot but not too hot, add the minced garlic. Move the garlic around, careful not to burn it. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat if broccoli isn’t timed perfectly.
  4. Tranfer the broccoli to the garlic and oil pan using a slotted spoon, saving the cooking water. Turn up the heat and coat well with the oil and garlic. Burn off the extra cooking liquid. You want the broccoli to be sort of falling apart at the end.
  5. Using the same pot and cooking water, boil the spaghetti aldente (under cooked slightly!) according to packaging. Tranfer pasta with tongs to the pan with the oil and broccoli. (Reserve 1 cup starchy cooking water in case the end result seems too dry. ) Coat well. Add 1 cup of grated parmesan and season well with sea salt. You can crack some black pepper here too or wait if serving to children.
  6. Serve with more parmesan, salt to taste, and red pepper flakes if like. And a fresh loaf of Italian bakery bread roasted into garlic bread.
  7. Enjoy!

If you like vegan Italian recipes:

Grandma’s Plant- Based Meatballs http://bellavirtue.com/eat/grandmas-plant-based-italian-meatballs/

Vegan Italian Prosciutto and Peas Pasta Alfredo http://bellavirtue.com/eat/vegan-italian-prosciutto-and-peas-pasta-alfredo-no-cholesterol/

Baked Ziti http://bellavirtue.com/eat/baked-ziti/

Creamy Whole Tomato Soup with Cashews and Roasted Red Pepper http://bellavirtue.com/eat/creamy-whole-tomato-soup-with-cashews-and-roasted-red-pepper/

Vegan White Lasagna http://bellavirtue.com/eat/vegan-white-lasagna-soy-free-gluten-free-oil-free/

Vegan Penne di Crema Pomodoro http://bellavirtue.com/eat/vegan-penne-di-crema-pomodoro/

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