Pasta with Broccoli
Servings for 6 people:
1 pound or so Broccoli florets, cleaned dried and set aside
1/4 cup olive oil
One large skillet (enough to hold your pasta when cooked)
3 cloves of garlic, diced
one teaspoon of hot pepper flakes
two teaspoons of anchovy paste or one anchovy
One pound of Pasta of your choice.
Several tablespoons of salt (2 for your pasta water), one for your Broccoli).
This is a wonderful, stand alone dish, that is very satisfying. Place a large, 8quart pot, filled with water on to boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Blanch your Broccoli florets in the boiling water. Cook for approximately 3 minutes. Remove and set the broccoli aside to drain. Be sure and reserve your water as you will re-use this same pot to cook your pasta later. Add more water if necessary.
In the meantime, heat your oil in your skillet on low. Add your diced garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovy paste. When you begin to smell your ingredients heating, mash them some with a wooden spoon. Be careful, not to burn anything, as you just want to oil to be infused and flavored. Turn your heat up and add your Broccoli Florets.
Carefully, mash or cut your Broccoli florets in the pan. Using your wooden spoon, mix your ingredients in the pan so that your Broccoli is well coated. In the meantime, when your water is boiling again, add your pasta. Cook your pasta to al dente. While your pasta is cooking, your Broccoli should continue to cook for 5 minutes more. The Broccoli should be soft. At this point, take a cup of your pasta water and add it to your Broccoli. This cooking method, will help your Broccoli adhere to your pasta when mixed. The starch from this addition will help the Broccoli develop into a nice creamy, consistency. Boil away some of the liquid until just a few teaspoons is left in the pan.
Drain your pasta and toss in the pan with the Broccoli. Add more olive oil if necessary to the dish before serving.