“This classic pasta dish from Puglia is normally made with cime di rape (rape tops), which are quite difficult to find unless you’re in Italy. Broccoli is a great substitute; economical, easy to find and packed with vitamins and other nutrients. This is such a simple dish to make using very few ingredients. The anchovies add a lovely saltiness, but you can omit them, if you prefer. If you can’t find orecchiette pasta, then simply use spaghetti. ”
Cook the broccoli in a large pan of slightly salted boiling water for about 10 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, chilli and anchovy fillets and sweat over a medium heat until the anchovies have dissolved.
With the help of a spider strainer, pick up the cooked broccoli from its pan of water and transfer it into the frying pan, then stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Bring the pan of broccoli water back to the boil, then add the orecchiette pasta and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente.
Add a couple of tablespoons of the hot pasta cooking water to the frying pan and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Take a potato masher and gently mash the broccoli. When the orecchiette is cooked, remove using a slotted spoon (or the spider strainer) and add to the broccoli, mixing together well and adding a little more pasta cooking water, if necessary. Cook over a medium-high heat for a minute or so until well combined. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.