Thursday, 23 September 2010

Orecchiette with Broccoli, Garlic and Chilli

There are probably as many recipes for this as there are Italian cooks, but however you do it, it makes for a cheap yet nourishing and filling supper. Do use the orecchiette pasta, though, as it has a particular texture - firm and chewy - that is 'right' for this. I think it means 'little ears' and they certainly resemble them! For 2: Whilst the pasta is cooking (it takes about 13-14 minutes, a little longer than other pasta), steam or boil a head of broccoli, broken into florets, you don't need the stem for this but do add any leaves, chopped. Then, heat 2 or three tablespoons of good olive oil in a pan and gently soften 2 or 3 cloves of chopped garlic - don't be afraid to let it go a little golden and toasty, but not brown when it becomes bitter. Add a chopped red chilli (to taste, but it should have some 'poke') and then the cooked broccoli. Continue to saute until the broccoli starts to break down a little but remains green, seasoning with a little salt and lots of black pepper. Strain the pasta, keeping back a few spoons of water, and stir through the sauce, adding the reserved water if it is dry and another spoon of oil. Serve with fresh parmesan, quite coarsely grated. Very nice for the end of the month, no money blues!

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