Italy has given the world many minimum effort/maximum taste dishes but orechiette con broccoli must be one of the best. Even by Italian standards this is both simple and stunning. It looks great, tastes like Marie-Antoinette’s favourite breakfast and is so simple to make that it could be the star recipe in a Cooking-with-mother book for four year olds.
Except for the anchovies. I’ve yet to meet a four year old who’s keen on the salty seafood that swims in olive oil and tastes mainly of seawater. Adults however love them and they give your tongue such a frisson of excitement that if you think you are not a fan I urge you to reconsider. An anchovy a day keeps the doctor away as they used to say in Rhyl.
Orechiette con Broccoli
You will need:
Orechiette – theses are ‘little ears’, small pasta shapes made without egg in Puglia. if you don’t have them you can just use penne or another pasta, but you won’t get the full slightly more chewy than normal effect.
Chop up the broccoli and add to a pan of boiling water.
Add the orrechiette and leave to cook. That’s the hard work over. Have a glass of wine.
Pour some olive oil in a frying pan. Add some chopped garlic and chilli flakes.
Fry for a while then add the anchovies. Stir them around in the oil. They will disintegrate. Enjoy the scent of the cooking.
That’s almost it. Have another glass of wine. (Remember to drink sensibly. Don’t cook when drunk.)
The magic happens here. When the broccoli and orechiette are cooked drain them and add to the frying pan. Swirl them like a paint pot in the oily anchovy sauce. Add a splash more oil, salt and pepper. Et voila!
Enjoy with a glass of wine. If there is any left.
Please try this dish and tell us what you think in the comments below.