You get home late, everyone is hungry and the nearest take away resturant seems to be the obvious choice. But it doesn't have to be. I like this delicious, quick meal for times such as this. As long as you have a couple of broccoli heads in the refrigerator along with the pantry staples of pasta, garlic and bottled anchovies you have a great easy dinner. Top it off with fabulous parmesan reggiano or gran padano. Buonissimo!
The method is simple and variable to your taste. This is mine!
Firstly take two heads of broccoli, break it into flowerettes and wash them well.
Put a large pot of water, well salted, on to boil. Meanwhile in a cold frying pan put a good 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 3 or 4 fillets of bottled anchovies. Slowly heat the pan up over the flame, crushing the anchovies until they melt into the mixture. At this point everyone should be gathering into the kitchen to find out what exactly is for dinner because it smells so good!
When your pot of water is boiling rapidly add the broccoli.
By now the anchovies will have melted and amalgamated well with the garlic and oil. Don't burn your garlic! Add a spoonful of chopped chillies if you like heat.
When your broccoli is tender remove with a slotted spoon and add to your pan of oil, garlic and anchovies. Cook 500g pasta of choice in the same water that the broccoli was cooked in until al dente.
I always add a few spoonfuls of tomato passata but that is your choice. Simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to meld. Taste, always taste! Adjust the seasoning if needed - a grind of pepper will be a must!
Drain the pasta and mix with the broccoli sauce adding a good handful of parmesan. Please use a really good freshly grated cheese not the cardboard, smelly stuff the comes pregrated in cheese shakers!
Call everyone to the table and serve with extra parmesan.
In our household this is enough for about 4 hungry people!