Broccoli pasta
3rd May 2013

Broccoli pasta

By Emma Photography by Emma
 

Anyone who has dined regularly at our family dinner table will have eaten broccoli pasta.  Once upon a time it was our signature dish and we ate it with such enthusiasm that after leaving home I found I had completely lost any appetite for it, fearing I may never wish to consume it again!  Many years passed and when we decided on Family Favourites as this month’s theme I knew it was time to dust off the old cookbook and once again recreate this wonderful dish.  It was everything I remembered it to be – fresh and zesty with a hint of chilli, finished beautifully with the smoothness of the cheese and crunch of the croutons.

This is a fabulous weeknight dinner and a great way to get the kids to eat their greens.  It requires few ingredients and very few dishes and is surprisingly quick and easy to make – taking little more time that it does to bring water to the boil and cook the pasta.  Best of all it tastes delicious.

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • --
  • 3 slices bread, finely cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • --
  • 2 heads broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 400g dried pasta (spirali, penne etc)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 4 anchovies
  • ½ - 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • S&P

Method

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  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and set aside.
  • 2. Fill a large pot with water, salt liberally and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. You do not want to overcook the broccoli at this stage as it will become mushy and brown. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside. Use the same water to boil the pasta; once it returns to the boil, add the pasta and simmer until cooked through. Drain.
  • 3. While the pasta is cooking place the olive oil in a frying pan (on medium-high?), add the garlic, anchovies and chilli and sauté for several minutes.
  • 4. Add the broccoli to the frying pan, mashing some bits up and leaving others whole. Finally, add the lemon zest, pasta and 2/3 of the parmesan cheese to the broccoli and mix through.
  • 5. Serve sprinkled with the remaining parmesan cheese and small handful of croutons.
     

    COMMENTS

    1. sue Wilkinson

      I love broccoli and your crunchy dish sounds great. As a child our family had rice pudding every night I’m sure to fill us up. Mum made it
      Special with condensed milk, apricots sultanas etc but it got so boring.
      Now I love the thought of that comfort food, just like you.

    2. Emma

      Hi Sue,
      Apologies for the slow reply – I have been on maternity leave. Thank you for your message and for sharing stories of your food memories as a child. Your mums addition of dried fruit to her rice pudding sounds delicious! I might have to give it a go. It would make such a great after dinner mid-winter treat.
      Happy cooking,
      Emma

     

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