This classic dish from the region of Puglia highlights one of the many reasons I love pasta – it is literally on the table in less time than it would take for the pizza delivery to arrive! It may look simple, but everyone will be asking for seconds. I like to serve it with a tomato, red onion, roasted capsicum and olive salad for a bit of colour contrast – and any leftovers make a great frittata the next day. Remember to use good anchovies such as Ortiz brand – if you’re using stronger-flavoured ones, you might like to reduce the quantity. Orecchiette with broccoli anchovies & chilli can easily stand up to a light Italian-style red – and I love it with a glass of Lark Hill Sangiovese (in the heat of summer, don’t be afraid to pop the bottle in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving).
- 600g broccoli (about 1 large head)
- 500g orecchiette pasta
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 anchovy fillets
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Here’s all you need to know about cooking pasta perfectly (scroll down to Q&A).
- Make Toasted Breadcrumbs: heat olive oil in a small frying pan, add breadcrumbs and stir over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until crisp and golden. Set aside.
- Cut broccoli florets from the stalk. Discard stalks (or reserve to use as a vegetable, thinly sliced, in a stir-fry).
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil. Add pasta and broccoli and cook until pasta is al dente.
- Meanwhile, place olive oil, anchovies, garlic and chilli flakes in a large frying pan and heat over a low heat. Stir to break up anchovies.
- When garlic starts to colour, remove from heat and set aside for flavours to infuse.
- When pasta is cooked, return frying pan to medium heat, drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid.
- Tip pasta into the frying pan – toss well to combine with the oil mixture and add enough cooking liquid to create a creamy sheen.
- Serve sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs.