It sounds weird if you’ve never tried it, but broccoli is great with pasta. I quite like broccoli and we eat it a fair bit, with hubby, Roman and I all fighting over who gets to eat the raw ‘trunk’. This is a great pantry dinner as I usually have all the ingredients lying about.
I like using wholemeal spiral pasta for this because it cooks really fast, but it also works with Orecchiette or home made Cavatelli. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets
olive oil (or anchovy oil from the anchovy jar)
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I use ones lurking in the freezer)
2 cloves garlic
6 anchovy fillets, chopped
ground black pepper
handful of pitted olives (optional)
chilli flakes (optional)
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add some salt. Simmer broccoli in water for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Strain broccoli out of water into a colander, keeping the water the broccoli was cooked in. Leave the broccoli sitting in the colander.
Bring broccoli water back to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, warm some olive oil in a small frypan and brown the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
In the frypan, add another spoonful of oil and gently fry the garlic with the anchovies. Add olives and chilli if using.
Drain the pasta into the colander, pouring the pasta water over the broccoli to warm it up again. Give it a shake to get all the water out. Tip the broccoli and pasta back into the empty saucepan and add the garlic mix. Add a little extra oil and the pepper and mix well. Serve in bowls topped with the breadcrumbs. I’m usually hungry and feel like it’s quicker to mix the breadcrumbs in with everything else. It tastes good either way.