A particularly tasty recipe, pasta with broccoli is widespread throughout the South, with two traditional recipes considered typical of Puglia and Calabria. Recipes that differed in details, such as the variety of pasta, the presence or absence of anchovies and the type of spice (pepper or chilli).
There The common origin was also very simple.: broccoli boiled and sautéed in a pan with garlic and spices to season the freshly drained pasta. Over time, the usual variations were added. The first of which was the cheese and the last the switch from natural broccoli to broccoli pesto. An almost obvious step, however, given that in more traditional recipes broccoli was boiled for a long time before sautéing it in the pan. Technically it didn’t come out like pesto, but almost. In reality, the seasoning was still a kind of cream, which was not obtained by grinding, but by slow and long cooking.
Even in our case, The broccoli pesto proposed in the recipe is not a real pesto.. We recommend obtaining it by shredding the broccoli florets with a fork and sautéing them in the pan. The result is a cream that is coarser and more rustic than an authentic pesto, which however is precisely what was traditionally used.
However, today – it must be said – the Most chefs use (and recommend) mixing the seasoning.. The result is an authentic cream capable of adhering excellently to the pasta.
The broccoli in the recipe is the top of the classic. broccoli cabbage, also called Calabrian broccoli or rosette broccoli. However, it is also excellent. romanesco broccoli, which is characterized by the lighter green color and the pyramidal shape of the rosettes. But of course also using related varieties You will bring to the table an excellent pasta with broccoli pesto. This is the case, for example, of the typical Venetian broccoli from Creazzo, or the “mugnolo” from Salento. Two very typical varieties (and unfortunately now also very rare) that in practice look more like turnip greens than real broccoli. From which we can deduce that Even with a turnip top pesto you will make a great impression.
If then you are interested in possible variationsTake a look at the text that accompanies the Apulian recipe for Troccoli with broccoli and anchovies.
This pasta with broccoli is perfect with any type of pasta, both short and long. However, cuts of a certain consistency are better, such as the bucatini that we use, or linguine or spaghettoni, rigatoni, fusilli or similar.
- 360 g bucatini
- 500 g broccoli tips
- 2 large cloves of garlic, whole and seasoned
- 1 clove garlic
- 60 g grated pecorino cheese or salted ricotta
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Clean the broccoli, selecting only the inflorescences (the tips) and the most tender parts of the stem. Pour them into a saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water and leave them for 10 minutes once it boils again. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them, without discarding the water in which you will later cook the pasta.
- Crush the two seasoned garlic cloves with the palm of your hand and brown them in a large frying pan with 5 tablespoons of oil. After a couple of minutes we add the third clove of peeled and finely chopped garlic. Let it fry very gently for another two minutes and then add a small piece of crumbled chilli. Complete with a tablespoon of chopped parsley and fry for another minute, always over very low heat.
- Chop the broccoli into small pieces and place them in the pan, mixing them with the seasoning over a slightly higher heat (medium-low). Then mash them with a fork, pulping them as best you can, including the stems (but without crushing the 2 dressed cloves of garlic). Cook for 6-7 minutes, continuing to mix and blend, until you get the consistency of a thick pesto.
- We remove the pan from the heat and remove the two cloves of garlic. Then add the pecorino to the broccoli pesto, adding a little of the cooking water to give it the right fluidity.
- Drain the bucatini, which in the meantime you will have boiled in the broccoli cooking water, and pour them into the pan. Finally, sauté for a minute over moderate heat, stirring to collect all the seasoning, and serve your bucatini with hot broccoli pesto.