I put half of it straight in the freezer and the rest got polished off in a flash. The difference was the parmesan cheese. Lots of it....
Dinner was a bit tricky....the fridge was looking very empty and I spent most of the afternoon leafing through a pile of old Vogue Entertainment. With all the fancy photos of scrumptious dishes, interviews with good looking chefs and plenty of food styling, cooking a humble dinner for the family is a bit of a depressing task...
What stood out though was a reasonably fresh Broccoli. However, no garlic and no Parmesan...the cornerstones of any respectable dish.
But dinner had to be made, so here it is. Our way of getting the kids to eat their greens.
675 g fresh broccoli
6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
6 flat anchovy fillets, very finely chopped
chopped hot red chilli pepper, to taste
675 g pasta (traditionally Orecchiette)
2 tbs freshly grated parmigiano
4 tbs freshly grated romano
Detach the washed broccoli florets from the stalks, but do not discard the stalks. Cut them in small chunks and steam/boil them along with the florets. Boil in lightly salted water (or steam if you prefer) until tender. Drain the water into your pasta water pot (the water is tasty and every bit of goodness should be kept).
Boil your pasta, remembering that the Orecchiette pasta takes a bit longer to cook (check paket) and remains quite chewy. In the meantime, put the oil in a saute pan and turn the heat to low. Add the anchovies and gently melt them in the oil, breaking them up with a wooden spatula. Add chilli and the broccoli. Toss it all to coat and break up the broccoli florets.
When the pasta is tender, drain and pour the pasta into the saute pan with the broccoli and anchovies. Combine well. Then add the cheeses and you're done.
Now, this is Macella's version. We love garlic, so along with the anchovies, we add LOTS of garlic, just a little dried chilli flakes and some pinenuts.
Of course, this time we didn't have neither garlic nor parmesan, which could have potentially been a disaster. But the creative cook I am, I went ahead anyway, added a few herbs from the garden and it turned out very nice indeed.
You might be put off by the quantity of anchovies, but once they all melt away, you just get a lovely, salty flavour with just a hint of fish.....
Just try it, you'll see...