London, 11th May 2012 – I was shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables at my local fruit and veg shop when I noticed one bunch of purple sprouting broccoli laying down between leeks and spinach. I bought it.
Pasta con i Broccoletti is a very tasty way to eat this vegetable. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for a simple dinner. My 6 years old son has started to appreciate chilli and loves broccoli, so he really enjoyed this dish.
Like in my pasta with cabbage, I have added anchovies to enhance the natural flavour of the vegetable. The purple broccoli loses its purple colour when it is popped into boiling water (turning green) but it preserves its sweet and delicate taste. I boil the broccoli until very tender (10 minutes) and then add them to the garlicky oil. The vegetables break into chunks when they’re stir fried and create a dense oily green sauce.
It was a lovely dinner.
Recipe with step by step pictures
PASTA CON I BROCCOLETTI (pasta with purple sprouting broccoli)
SERVES 4, PREP 10 MINS, COOK 20 MINUTES
- 200 g purple sprouting broccoli, washed and stalks trimmed
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 anchovies, sliced
- chilli flakes
- sea salt
- 320 g pasta shells (conchiglie)
- 20g parmesan and pecorino cheese, grated
- flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.
Cut up the broccoli into chunks and add them to boiling salted water. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes. Drain the water out of the pan and set the broccoli aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic, anchovies and chilli flakes. Fry for 3 – 4 minutes over a low-medium heat until the garlic is golden brown.
Add the broccoli to the garlicky oil. Lower the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until the vegetables are coated in the oil mixture and break into small pieces.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta al dente (firm to the bite) but reserve a tablespoon of the pasta-cooking water.
Add the tablespoon of the pasta-cooking water to the broccoli mixture in order to loosen the sauce. Add the pasta, top with flat leaf parsley, parmesan and pecorino cheese and mix well.
Serve immediately with extra grated parmesan and pecorino cheese sprinkled on top.