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Week 54: Orecchiette with Brocolli and Anchovies

So that’s that then, I’ve cooked all three of the recipes in the “three pasta dishes with anchovies” section of the Cupboard Love book. I’m not sure if I cooked it for completeness (such a freaky collector – gotta have the set) or to see how it compared with the really similar (practical identical) Jamie Oliver recipe I made a few weeks back (Broccoli Pasta Chopped Garden Salad  https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/week-48/ )

Probably both. Doubly whammies are hard to resist.

Once again I didn’t have any Orecchiette, so I used the last of the little pasta I used on week 48, but I’m determined to track some down – apparently it’s ideal for brocoli sauces.

To make this for two you will need: 200g orecchiette, unsalted butter, olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, dried crushed chilli, 1/4 nutmeg (I assume he means an actual nutmeg grated up, rather than the ground stuff I had in a jar), 4 sprigs of thyme (just the little leaves, not the stick bit), 1 kg of broccoli (I know. I’m assuming this is the uncut weight – I managed to get 600g off two heads and that was enough), 4 anchovy fillets, juice of half a lemon, and 50g Parmesan.

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First up, cut the broccoli into small florets. I’m not sure how small they need to be, I reckon smaller than I did them. Chop the garlic, grate the nutmeg, and pluck the leaves off your thyme.  Gently heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a wide pan with a lid.  Start some salted water boiling for the pasta.

When the butter/oil is fizzing stir in the garlic, half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, the nutmeg (I substituted a quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg, I chose this amount because I had no idea how big a nutmeg was), and thyme.

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After minute add the anchovies and broccoli, then add 3 tablespoons of water and a little sea salt. Put the lid on the pan and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

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Cook the pasta while the broccoli steams, drain it thoroughly and return it to the pan.  Stir in the broccoli mix, then add the lemon juice and freshly grated Parmesan (I forgot to say, while everything’s cooking grate the Parmesan) give it a stir and serve straight away.

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It was really tasty, I think the anchovies and chillies gave it the edge and the nutmeg a real depth of flavour. I managed to slightly catch the broccoli on the pan, mostly because I was using the flamethrower-ring and it just didn’t go low enough to steam the broccoli – so next time I’ll know! Also, I think I need to cut up the broccoli into smaller bits next time, it might become more like a sauce.

Like a lot of other ‘soft’ recipes I’ve made this really needed something crunchy to go with it, but it wasn’t ‘one-texture-ish’ enough to make it bland… If that makes sense?  With the winter starting to make itself known, this is a simple but delicious comfort dish that only requires a truckload of broccoli and some kitchen cupboard staples! Yum!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

cupboard love

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Week 48: Broccoli Pasta chopped Garden Salad

I do declare that this was the last salad of the summer – I’d planned on cooking something a bit more hearty as the weekend felt a bit back-endish (which is a Nottinghamshire term for autumnal, nothing rude haha) but my lover came in clutching the Jamie Oliver book and insisted.

It’s as if he wanted me to spend hours cleaning the kitchen…

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Apparently he’d had his eye on this recipe for a while, understandably so – it’s got a very pretty picture 🙂 this recipe is for four, but with a chunk of garlic bread or something it’d do 6 I reckon (with dessert).  To make this you will need 320g dried orecchiette (or similar small pasta) a bunch of fresh basil, a 50g tin of anchovy fillets in oil, a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, a dried red chilli, 30g Parmesan, a large head of broccoli and 50g pine nuts. For the salad you will need  2 carrots, 1 avocado, 3 ripe tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar  and rocket (Jamie asks for 70g, but I used the whole pack – what else was I going to do with it?)

Now, usually I would type out the method to the letter, but this recipe just doesn’t work well if you try and do it as it is in the book.  Firstly, cut the florets off your broccoli and set them aside for later, then with a box grater grate the stalk and the carrots onto a board (my board got stuck behind the radiator so I used a big serving dish) squeeze and kneed the avocado with your fingers, then squish it out of the skin into the salad (throw away the stone and scrape the skin for any remaining flesh and throw that away too) roughly chop the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper and then toss it all together with the rocket. This is the salad done so pop it on the table out the way.

Next you need to get the liquidiser out, and then turn the kettle on.  Measure out a tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies and tip it in the liquidiser – then drain the rest of the oil and put the anchovies in the liquidiser with the basil and the juice and zest of the lemon. Squash the garlic (Jamie says use a garlic crusher but I don’t have one) and put it in the liquidiser with a splash of boiling water. Then finely grate the Parmesan and add that, and crumble in a dried chilli. I couldn’t find a dried chilli in the whole of Hammersmith, so I kept sprinkling chilli flakes in until it looked like a chilli-worth – it wasn’t the best plan but it was chilli-ish.

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Turn the liquidiser on and keep on going until it’s smooth. While it’s whizzing away pour boiling water into a pasta pan and salt it; then add the pasta and cook as recommended on the packet.

If you’re serving this up at a glamorous party, tip the pesto (which is what you just made by the magic of the liquidiser) into a serving bowl.  Add the broccoli florets to the pasta when it has about 5 minutes to go. Heat up a little frying pan and toast the pine nuts until they’re golden.

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When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, take a cup full of the water from the pan then drain the rest, then tip the pasta into the pesto (if you’re not using a serving dish return the pasta into the pan and tip the pesto in over the top of it) and coat the pasta. Add a bit of the pan water if the pesto needs loosening at all. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the pasta and grate a bit of extra Parmesan over it too. Then serve.

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Doing it in this order takes slightly longer than 15 minutes, but without the panic and total kitchen destruction.

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It was tasty.  It was like a punchier version of the Pasta alla Genovese I made back on week 30 (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/week-30-pasta-alla-genovese/ ) I’d definitely make it again, but not for just the two of us – it’s an impossible recipe to cut in half, so we ended up having it two nights in a row (I put half the pesto and salad into the fridge and did fresh pasta and pine nuts on the second night). It was a bit too much two nights in a row, but it’s definitely one for sharing with friends in the garden on a summer evening with a beer.

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Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min