Broccoli and Chili Pasta

A traditional Southern Italian fresh pasta dish that has no tomatoes and is vegetarian friendly. You get green veggies and a kick. What’s not to like?

This version here uses dry pasta and dried chili flakes because that’s what I had handy. If you can get your hands on the traditional orecchiette and some fresh chili, use them instead. You fancy pants, you.

I’ve been known to bastardise this dish by adding ANCHOVIES. There’s another pasta recipe, similar to the one above, that uses turnip tops instead and often includes these dreaded little fishes. Trust me, they’re delicious, if you think of them as seasoning and chop them up really small.

Broccoli and Chili Pasta

Serves two, for a light supper

150g dried pasta, preferably ones that can ‘hold’ the broccoli, like orecchiette or shells

200g broccoli, including the stem, cut into small-ish florets

1-2 pinches, dried chili flakes

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1-2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

grated Parmesan-style cheese to serve (optional)

First, put on the water for the pasta. Add a generous pinch or two of salt. Don’t bother adding oil to the water. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and you’ll avoid it sticking together.

Prep the broccoli. Cut into even sized florettes and rinse. Add a dash of water to a small pot, a pinch of salt and add the broccoli to par-cook for 3 minutes. When ready, drain and return to the pot. Eat a bit now because you deserve it and you’re working hard.

Heat up a frying pan, add the olive oil, then the crushed garlic. Fry for one minute. Don’t let it catch and burn. Nobody likes that smell in their kitchen and neither do you.

Add the fresh chili now or the dried chili flakes. Go easy, you can always add more.

Add the broccoli to the garlic and chili. Turn down the heat. Let them mingle. If you’ve had a really stressful day at work, mash some bits of the broccoli, break them up with the spatula, get that aggro out, you’ll soon feel better.

Check the seasoning. It probably won’t need more salt, it might need some black pepper.

Pasta should be done by now. Drain it. Add it to the broccoli and stir. Watch the pasta shells hugs the florets. Bless.

Put your pasta in a bowl or on a plate or eat straight from the pan, because you use less plates that way and have less washing up to do.



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