Broccoli Orecchiette

Easter had left us feeling like beached whales and so I wanted to make something really simple, tasty and cheap for Easter Monday.

Looking through books, I found this recipe crop up again and again and as it met all my specifications I decided to give it a whirl. You’ll probably have most of the ingredients in the pantry already, so it will probably be a broccoli excursion unless you have some. Don’t worry if you’re not fond of anchovies, they don’t taste fishy in the final dish-they are just there for subtle flavour.

After all the rich food we’d been eating – (I had made tiramisu, salted caramel cheesecake and a big salmon curry) as we’d been expecting guests that didn’t end up coming due to sickness. I’d been a bit of a pudding-pusher all weekend as I’d of hated to throw anything away. We almost took the tiramisu to the homeless shelter, but decided to just go crazy instead and supplement alcohol for puddings.

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Feel free to add chorizo or other meaty morsels – anything would work. I took inspiration from about 4 different recipes, just tweaking them to end up with this one.

Ingredients – serves 4, to serve 2 just use 300g broccoli, use 4 tbsp of oil but keep everything else the same

  • 500g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Orecchiette (whatever portion size you like) I normally do about 180g / person
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 dried chilli, seeded (or add chilli flakes at the table if some ppl aren’t as keen)
  • 6 canned anchovy fillets, drained
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan or pecorino
  • Toasted crumbs, if you like (I keep any unwanted bread and process with lemon rind, fresh rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in the freezer and toast in a little butter as and when I need)


First, put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Chop broccoli into small florets and cook in the boiling water for 3 minutes before draining on kitchen paper.

Bring the broccoli water back to a rolling boil and add the pasta, cook according to packet instructions or to al dente.

While the pasta cooks, chop the garlic, chilli and anchovies and use a large pan to sauté in half the oil for about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli to the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the broccoli pan. Mix for about 1 minute, before adding the rest of the oil and grated parmesan.

Toast crumbs (if you have any) and serve scattered on top. I like to add lots of chilli to mine at the end.

Simple Pasta


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