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.