This recipe is one created out of left over vegetables. I came home one evening wondering what I can do with some left over asparagus and tender steam broccoli. I went online looking for some inspirations and found an Orecchiette with Broccoli recipe which originated from Puglia. I adapted the recipe adding asparagus into this light as spring dish and rather than using a parmesan or pecorino cheese, I used breadcrumbs instead. I love experimenting in the kitchen and this one is one of those experiments that has now become a regular part of my weekly meal repertoire. It’s easy and quick to make and it’s tasty too.
A large pasta pan, a deep large frying pan, a small sauce pan.
- 200g orecchiette pasta
- 2 tbsp. olive oil for cooking.
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over and finish the dish.
- 6 anchovy fillets in oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp. chili flakes
- 220g tender stem broccoli, chopped into 1inch length.
- 110g baby asparagus, sliced in halves
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of ground black pepper
- ¼ cup of panko breadcrumbs or just breadcrumbs
- Cook the orecchiette pasta following pack instructions.
- In a small pan, over low heat, dry fry (no oil) the panko-bread crumbs until golden, then set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the anchovy fillets, garlic and chili flakes for 3-4 minutes until the anchovies melt into the sauce.
- When the pasta has 4-5 mins left before they are cooked, add the broccoli. Then 2 minutes later add the asparagus.
- When cooked, drain the pasta and vegetables, reserving ½ a cup of the pasta water, then add to the frying pan with the garlic and anchovies sauce. Stir and cook over a low heat for a further 2 mins. Season with salt and pepper, serve in a plate and then drizzle over some very good quality olive oil. Finally sprinkle over some bread crumbs over the top.
If you can get hold of panic bread crumbs, I would highly recommend you use this instead of just regular breadcrumbs as it is crispier in my view which for me is tastier adding that extra crunchy texture to this dish.