Sunday, November 13, 2011

Farfalle with Broccolini and the Ingredient "who shall not be named"

Tasty new spin on weeknight pasta
Okay, let's get right to it.  What is this unnamed ingredient?  It must be revolting to not even warrant a spot in the title!  Well, the truth is, this magic ingredient is everything but revolting, unfortunately it is tarnished with a nasty reputation.  I'm talking about Anchovies.  These greasy, briny, tiny little bony fish filets in a pull tab can have such a bad rap, and they really don't deserve it!  When used the right way, they are simple magic.  They add a depth and flavor to your food that you would not get any other way.  Major, major umami.   I urge you, I beg you, try the little suckers out with this recipe.  They really make the dish.  I promise that they do not make the dish taste fishy, and I guarantee you won't even know they're in there in the end!

This is a recipe that I adapted from a recipe of Giada's - just kicked it up a bit to be a little more complex. It's fast, easy, and oh so tasty.  I hope you give it a whirl and become an anchovy convert like me!


  • 1 box farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 3 T butter
  • EVOO
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 anchovy filets, minced (don't skip these!!!)
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 scant tsp dried oregano
  • Approximately 3/4 cup seeded and diced fresh tomato
  • 1 large zucchini cut into thin crescents
  • 1 bunch broccolini, florets and top of stocks only (could substitute with 1 head's worth of broccolli florets)
  • Grated parmesan
  • S&P
  • little bit of flat leaf Italian parlsey, chopped.
Try them, you'll like them!

Set up your pasta pot with water and bring to a boil.

Melt the butter in some EVOO over medium, medium-low heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and sauté for awhile, till anchovies 'melt' but garlic does not brown. Then, add red pepper flakes to taste, oregano, black pepper and a little bit of salt (anchovies and butter already have salt, and Parmesan is salty, so don't over do it)

Then, add the zucchini and sauté for a few minutes. Next, add tomato, and turn temperature down to medium low. I let all of these ingredients cook down till kind of mushy lumpy sauce is created. Perhaps this isn't the most gourmet way to serve the zucchini, but I like it when it falls apart and can help the sauce stick to the pasta. 

While your sauté cooks down, cook your pasta in salted water. When there are 5 minutes to go till al dente is reached, add your broccolini florets and cook along with pasta for remaining time. When done, drain the pasta and florets, and immediatly add the pasta and florets to your sauté pan. Reserve 1 ladle full of pasta water. Mix well and continue stirring and cooking over medium low for 2-3 minutes so that sauce permeates pasta. Add pasta water if you want it a little saucier.

Serve with a little fresh chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese on top.

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