I have been doing a lot of recipe testing for The Geometry Of Pasta: The Perfect Shape + The Perfect Sauce published by Quirk Books (review to follow) and wanted to share their recipe for Farfalle Con Broccoli E Alici with you. A wonderful pasta dish using bowtie pasta, broccoli, anchovies and cream.
In a large pot bring a generous amount of water to a boil. Salt the water and add 1/3 lb of farfalle/bowtie pasta and 1 head of broccoli cut into florets. In a wide pan fry 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced in 3 tbsp of olive oil. Turn off the heat and add 3/8 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes.
I used my mortar and pestle with a little oil to crush 3 salted anchovy fillets but you can do as the recipe says. Wait until the pan stops sizzling, then add the chopped anchovies that have been moistened with a spoonful of water to the pan. Crush with a wooden spoon.
I added the anchovies and mixed everything around until it dissolved. When the pasta is almost ready…
… add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and return to heat. Stir together. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.
Cook together until the sauce thickens. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper. If the sauce gets too thick and sticky, add some pasta water.
What a beautiful dish! Seriously, this is my ultimate comfort food. You can feel less guilty because there is a vegetable component and enjoy the pasta with gusto. Very flavourful, not fishy from the anchovies but what a fantastic sauce they help make.
This feels like real Italian cooking to me. A simple recipe with lots of flavour, this would make the perfect side dish. My only issue is the broccoli really seemed to be overcooked and ended up falling apart. If you like your vegetables to be firm, wait a while before adding the broccoli to the pasta. Still, even with the broccoli dissolving I loved this dish and will make it again. I give this recipe four and a half out of five wooden spoons.
Debra She Who Seeks says
I’m with you — I hate overcooked broccoli.
I like the looks of this recipe, however, I don’t like anchovies! Do you suppose it would work without them? (Mike won’t eat them either… one fish we agree on! 🙂 )
Suzie Ridler says
Debra, yeah, it was a bit weird to cook it that long but it kind of turned into the sauce!
Tammy, you could absolutely try and do this without the anchovies but add some herbs that you think might work instead, maybe thyme? Or just add some fresh basil at the end.
I can’t wait to try this, looks super simple but with tons of flavour! I use to really dislkike anchovies but as I get older I’m starting to have a soft spot in my heart for them!
All your pasta dishes look amazing and are beautifully photographed. Maybe they should consider using your photos for the book since it lacks. This recipe sounds deliciously simple, and I can totally appreciate how the anchovies would highlight this dish. They have such a subtle way of making some dishes so savoury.
This pasta sounds great! Definitely a change from the norm!
I made this for dinner last night and my boyfriend & I, loved it! It was so quick and simple to prepare and like you said, a plate of comforting goodness.
I have to go to the bookstore and see if they sell copies of this cookbook too, been reading so many good things about it.
Thanks for sharing!
I made it and liked it. I don’t like overcooked broccoli or anchovies but both work perfectly here. The broccoli needs overcooking to make into the sauce and the bitterness of the veg balance out the anchovies so you can’t really taste them. In fact I’ll add another anchovy next time I make it.
Suzie the Foodie says
That’s great Nozza, so glad you liked it and hey, I’m always good with more anchovy…