Broccoletti (similar to cime di rape in Puglia or Friarelli in Campania) grow really well in Lazio throughout late autumn and winter as they like colder temperatures. We always plant them as they’re so versatile: they can be used in pasta dishes or a side dish with meat dishes or sausages.
It’s a comfort food for sure as you can whip up a hearty dish of steaming pasta coi broccoletti in just 30 mins making it ideal after a long day picking olives, pruning, muck spreading or preparing the soil for the next spring.
320 grams short pasta e.g. penne, shells etc.
2 kilos broccoletti
6 anchovies in olive oil
1 – 2 chopped small red chili peppers (optional)
1 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil Sabina DOP
1. Prepare the broccoletti by removing the smaller tender leaves from their stems and cutting the tops off but preserving a few inches of the stem. To ensure the thicker stems cook properly, make a cross-shaped cut at the base of the stem.
2. Wash the tops and the tender leaves in lots of water, leaving them to soak for 30 mins.
3. Bring abundant salted water to the boil and then add the broccoletti for about 7-10 mins. They must be well cooked, but still whole and al dente. When ready, remove them from the water and put to one side, but do not throw away the water.
4. Bring the water back to the boil and add the pasta.
5. Peel the garlic and squash it with a knife (do not chop it)
6. Add a big splash of olive oil to a pan and gently warm the garlic before adding the anchovies, chopped chilli peppers, and broccoletti. Mix well. Tip: Do not wait until the garlic starts to go golden brown or starts burning before adding the anchovies etc. If it becomes too colored, the oil will have a bitter, burnt taste.
7. When the paste is al dente, drain it and add it to the mix thoroughly to ‘manticare – amalgamate – for a couple of mins.
8. Leave it to rest for a few minutes and then serve hot.