Orecchiette with Broccoli & Anchovy Sauce

Adapted from Marcella Hazan's

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking


fresh broccoli, about 500g

hot red chilli, finely chopped

(I used dried chilli flakes instead)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

6-8 anchovy fillets (depending on size), finely chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup pecorino cheese, freshly grated

generous handful toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

125g pasta per person (I used orecchiette)


Set a large pan of water over high heat and bring to the boil.

While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, prepare the broccoli.  Cut the florets off the stalk, but don't throw the stalk away.  Cut the thick, woody base off the stalk, and peel off the thick, dark outer layer of the stalk.  Once the water is boiling, salt liberally, add the broccoli and cook until just fork tender.

Remove the broccoli from the water and set aside.  Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking ...

Cut the broccoli florets into smaller pieces and dice the stalks.

Put the oil in a saute pan and set over low heat.  Once the oil is warm (not too hot), remove the pan from the heat, and add the anchovies.  Keep stirring and mashing the anchovies into the warm oil to dissolve and make a paste.  Add the broccoli (including the stalks) and the chilli (fresh or dried) to the pan, return the pan to the heat, and cook for a few minutes, turning the broccoli regularly to make sure it is well coated.

Reserve a little of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and add to the pan of broccoli and sauce.  Toss well, then add the cheeses and toss again.  Toss through the walnuts, if using, then serve immediately.

Serve with extra cheese if desired.

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