Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wendy's Sprouting Broccoli Pasta

Do you remember your mother telling you that sugar got very hot when heated and that you should never ever touch it...? Me too. So why did I just lick the spoon that was sitting in the pan of freshly boiled caramel sauce? Because I am greedy. That's why. Very greedy. Clearly, I deserve to be punished and have a seriously burnt tongue to prove it.

Well, I'm back in the northern hemisphere and boy, do I know it. I flew in from South Africa yesterday morning after a truly marvellous holiday and have been struggling to stay warm since! What happened in the two weeks I was away? The cold has set in, it is dark when I go to work and when I come home and all the shops are in full Christmas mode. I feel like I've been away for more like a month!

I had so much interesting and delicious food whilst I was away. In fact I wonder that I managed to do anything at all - looking back at all the meals I devoured, you'd think that I spend my entire holiday crawling from one restaurant to the next (not so far from the truth, actually!). There is a lot to report. But once home I couldn't wait to get back behind the stove. Having said that I was fairly exhausted after the long flight and didn't wish to expend too much energy. I had a strange urge to bake a cake (recipe to follow) and fancied something packed with flavour yet reasonably healthy for supper. I spotted some purple sprouting broccoli in the supermarket and remembered a recipe posted by Wendy of A Wee Bit of Cooking a while back. It is based on a Nigel Slater recipe and is a fairly classic combination of anchovies, broccoli and black olives.

I'm not going to repeat the recipe here as Wendy's version is nigh on perfect. Essentially you melt the anchovies in some oil along with some onion and garlic. Throw in some olives and fresh herbs, cook the broccoli with pasta and Bob's your uncle... Or perhaps Giorgio...

The best thing about this recipe is that whilst it is on the table in around 15 minutes, it has just enough chopping and stirring in it to make you feel that you did actually have a part in creating the masterpiece. So simple yet so wonderfully tasty. The flavours marry together so well and are punchy and satisfying. Like Wendy, I advise to go easy on seasoning - there is plenty of salt from the anchovies and Parmesan. One amendment I did make was a handful of toasted pine nuts - I really liked the added crunch.

Thanks, Wendy for the great recipe. This is sure to become a staple!


Margaret said...

Mmm! looks delicious.
Burnt tongues are nasty - ouch!
Pleased you are back safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home! Pasta looks great and I can't wait to hear about your trip!


Wendy said...

Extremely glad you liked it! I bought some smoked fish for dinner tonight but looking at your lovely photos I'm starting to wonder if I'd prefer this dish... :)
Hope you've recovered from all your jetsetting!

Wendy said...

Going mad. Thought I had already commented on this!
What I thought I'd said was:
Glad you enjoyed it!
Hope you've recovered from your jetsetting. :)

Rosie said...

Great to *see* you back from your travels safe & sound!! Mmmm pasta looks a very tempting dish.

Antonia said...

Margaret - burnt tongues are nasty and so silly. It served me right though!

Ginger - thank you. I have finally posted about the trip - too hard to do it justice though. It was so wonderful.

Wendy (x2!) - Thanks again for the recipe. I will definately be making this again soon.