There's broccoli florets in the dish, and even 'unseen' broccoli in the pesto sauce. And what's even better, this pasta dish utilises almost all aspects of your broccoli, including the stalks (that you always end up throwing out). The anchovies and garlic incorporated will pull the pasta out of bland-town, with chili flakes giving the entire plate an extra kick.
Feel free to use any sort of pasta you please, although I find that using orecchiette (pasta shells) is most suitable here because they act as little 'cups' to hold your thick pesto and caramelised cherry tomatoes (if you're using any).
This recipe serves 2 or 1 very hungry person (me. Always me.)
What You Need:
2 handfuls of broccoli florets
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved (optional, but I think it adds amazing contrast to the dish)
For the pesto:
1 floret broccoli, plus the broccoli stalk, trimmed and sliced
3 anchovies in olive oil, plus 1 tsp of its oil
1 tbsp. capers, drained
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
A sprinkle of dried chili flakes (OR, however hot you want it to be)
What You Do:
1. First, boil your pasta of choice in a pot of salted boiling water according to packet instructions (ProTip: That water should be as salty as the ocean).
2. In your food processor, blitz all the ingredients to make the pesto until you get a paste.
3. In a large flat pan, heat a glug of olive oil, and add the pesto and sautee on low heat. After 3 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes (if using), cooking until they are softened.
4. Add a few spoonfulls of pasta water into the pan, stirring to make a silky sauce with dots of those softened cherry tomatoes.
5. At the last 1 minute of your pasta boiling, chuck in the broccoli florets to blanch them a little.
6. Drain pasta and broccoli (reserve some of the water), and toss them into your sauce. Add a splash of pasta water if it needs it. and grate over some parmesan. You're looking for a silky sauce, draping your pasta nicely.
7. Transfer everything onto a plate, and finish with some grated parmesan, and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.
8. This pasta also goes great with cuts of meat, or a nice carrot salad.