Orecchiette con Broccoli
I used to make this Puglian pasta dish at least once a week. I love it. It's simple and flavorfull. As you can see it can be made with penne, but if you can find hand-made dried orecchiette all the better. In Italian it means little ears and the nooks and crannies do a good job capturing the sauce.
There are a lot of different version. It's often made with rapini or broccoli rabe. I used some small sweet peppers and pine nuts. Not that that is traditional, but I had to use them up.
Here's what I did. I was pleased with the results.
Half head garlic, cloves sliced
One red onion chopped
About 10-12 anchovy filets packed in olive oil. The anchovies lose their distinctive taste and add a depth of flavor to the sauce. So even if you don't like anchovies, you won't taste them.
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 or 3 tablespoons
1 large head broccoli. Tops cut off and stems peeled and sliced.
5 or 6 sweet red peppers, thinly sliced. The ones I found were small.
About a tablespoon hot red pepper flakes.
1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
1 pound orecchiette
Grated pecorino romano and salt and pepper to taste
Saute the red peppers and pepper flakes in the 3 tablespoons olive oil until soft. Bring large pot of water to boil. When it starts to boil, add some salt. Then add the broccoli. When broccoli starts to become soft after about 7 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon. Leave water boiling and add the pasta. Cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, in another pan, saute onion and anchovies till soft and the anchovies dissolve, then add the garlic and cook until it gives off a fragrance about 1 minute. Add the peppers, pine nuts and broccoli to the onions and garlic. Squeeze lemon over sauce. When pasta is done toss it with sauce and add grated cheese, salt and pepper.