Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Broccoli & Pecorino Pasta



A quick and healthy pasta dinner made with chillies, anchovies and rocket.
 
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 cloves garlic (see Notes)
2 long red chillies
4 anchovy fillets
2 heads broccoli
140ml extra virgin olive oil
60g pecorino or parmesan
350g orecchiette or other short dried pasta
1 cup rocket
1 lemon (see Notes)
Crusty bread, to serve  

Method
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, thinly slice garlic widthwise. Halve chillies lengthwise and remove seeds. Finely chop chillies and anchovies, and set aside with garlic. Cut stalks from the broccoli, peel, then cut into 1cm pieces. Cut the broccoli heads into small florets.
 
2. Add florets to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or until almost tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and keep water boiling. Place half the florets in a food processor with 2 tbs oil. Season with salt and pepper. Coarsely grate pecorino, add 40g to the food processor, and process to a paste. Transfer to bowl with remaining florets.
 
3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Halfway through cooking, add the broccoli stalks. Drain pasta and broccoli stalks, reserving 125ml (1/2 cup) cooking water and the pan.
 
4. Place remaining 100ml oil, garlic, chillies and anchovies in reserved pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and anchovies have broken up. Add reserved cooking water, pasta, broccoli mixture, rocket and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, tossing, for 2 minutes or until rocket wilts.
 
5.Squeeze lemon over pasta, season and toss well to combine. Divide among bowls, scatter with remaining pecorino and serve with crusty bread.
 
Notes 
• To peel garlic quickly, place on a chopping board, place the flat side of a knife over the top and hold down with one hand. Using the heel of your free hand, carefully hit the knife; the force will bruise the garlic, splitting the skin and making it easy to peel.
• To get maximum juice from a lemon, roll it on a work surface before juicing.
• For a variation on the pasta, shred the meat from a barbecued chicken and stir into the pasta.

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