My hump day dish…Pasta e broccoli

So it has been a long week, or couple of weeks I should say. On the good side there has been birthday celebrations, Father’s Day and more cars free day festivals. On the not so good side there has been the physically exhausting exercise of moving house. Ok, although we were only moving up two floors in the same building, I soon realised you can accumulate quite a few items in three months!

So I apologise especially to family and friends for not keeping you in the loop with our adventures, but finding some focused minutes or hours in the day to write has been a challenge…anyway back on track now.

When even making dinner sometimes is perhaps one of the last things I want to do after all I’ve packed into a day, this meal is easy to prepare and my go to dish takes minutes to prepare.  Before you know it you are sitting down to a satisfying meal and a cold crisp glass of wine!

My hump day pasta dish (serves 4). This recipe has been a favourite of mine for years. It is particularly good I feel when I am craving comfort food. Surprisingly my son likes it as well, perhaps he is a salt fiend too. This is inspired by the rustic Roman dishes I enjoyed while travelling around Italy (on a shoestring budget) in my early 20s. Broccoli is the hero here for green goodness!

Ingredients

1 medium head of broccoli cut into small florets, (I like using the centre of stalks sliced too).

350 gm of spaghetti

2 cloves of garlic

6 anchovies

1 tablespoon of salted capers (drained if in vinegar)

1 small red chilli (de-seeded and chopped finely)

1/2 cup of roasted breadcrumbs (can make a day ahead – takes 3-5 minutes under grill).

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, preferably a high quality aged one as it is less acidic and has a more caramelised flavour.

1.5 Tablespoon of premium extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Handful of baby rocket leaves and/or parsley

Pecorino cheese and black pepper to taste – optional

Method

1. Place spaghetti into a large pot of boiling salted water on high heat. In the last four minutes throw in broccoli florets.

2. In a medium frypan, heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO (not cold pressed) and crushed garlic cloves on a medium heat. You do not want to brown the garlic, just heat for 1-2 minutes till fragrant. Add anchovies, capers and chilli for another minute or two.

3. Add balsamic vinegar, and you should see a slightly thicker caramelised consistency.

4. Mix in the breadcrumbs for another minute or so on heat and remove.

5. Drain your pasta, then in the same pot you boiled the pasta, use premium extra virgin olive oil to coat bottom and toss spaghetti, broccoli, breadcrumb mixture and lemon juice together.

6. Add rocket leaves or parsley for extra texture, pecorino and black pepper and serve.

Pour your glass of wine and enjoy!

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