About a month ago, I was in one of the Italian delis in Soho looking to purchase some orecchiette. One of the ladies behind the counter suggested I just go whole hog and buy the 1kg bag. And that’s how I ended up with a kilo of pasta in a tiny kitchen that’s already full up to the gills. Now to use it up.

My favourite recipe for orecchiette is this one – good with regular ol’ broccoli and I guess must be very good with broccoli rabe. Even if you’re not fond of anchovies, do give it a try – they give a deep savouriness to the dish rather than an unpleasant fishiness.

Orecchiete with Broccoli and Anchovies

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Anchovies
serves 2

200-250g orecchiette (depends on how hungry you are!)
1 small head broccoli
olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
4-6 anchovy fillets or a good squeeze of anchovy paste
chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper

Saute the sliced onion in olive oil over a low heat and in the meantime, set a pot of water to boil. Chop the broccoli into small florets – don’t let the stem go to waste! Peel it and chop it up too. When the water boils, toss in the broccoli. When the onion is golden, add in the garlic and the anchovies (or the paste) and the chili flakes and saute together. Scoop out the broccoli when it’s as tender as you like it, and add to the onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the pasta will be cooking in salted water and that the anchovies can be very salty.

Add salt and the orecchiette to the boiling water. When al dente, drain and toss with the broccoli mixture. Add a little of the pasta water if the mixture looks too dry. Done!