Penne Pasta and Broccoli Bagna Cauda
Beneath the yogurt selection now dwindling on the glass pull- out shelf boldly informing great probiotic benefits peeks out the trendy humidified produce drawer busily performing its task at keeping fresh the weeks remaining two tightly firm heads of broccoli. A beeping sound persists, the irritating reminder to shut the door for staring in the refrigerator has exceeded its designated allowable time.
What to do with two full size broccoli florets, well something remotely interesting anyway, and quick too.
Given an equally diminishing pantry supply in January interspersed with post- holiday remnants of boxed and packaged items that no one ever seems to eat and whose eventual removal ensues the appearance of green spongy like substances forgoing then all guilt of immediate dismissal.
What does catch my eye in a positive light is the bright yellow rectangular tin.
Salty, tiny fish, avoiding mentioning by name combined with basic complementary ingredients captures many an unknowing soul into declaring the purely fabulous flavor of a dish prepared with mere simplicity. Today. Penne Pasta and Broccoli Bagna Cauda topped with a bit of fresh Parmesan.
Any aversions to the use of anchovies may easily be transformed to two words, Bagna Cauda, such as, ‘oh, its Italian, and loosely it means, bathed in’.
Bagna Cauda takes very few minutes to prepare and ‘bathed in’ with cooked, small cut broccoli florets, spiced with a small amount of red pepper flakes then mixed through with pasta provides a flavorful specialty even as pantry supplies begin to deplete in the January post-holiday season.
Dinner is served.
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 large broccoli florets, cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 can anchovies, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for added spice if desired
- fresh shaved or grated Parmesan cheese for topping
- Cook Penne Pasta to el dente in salted boiling water, reserve a ladle of pasta water, drain, then transfer to a large sized bowl with the ladle of pasta cooking water
- Cook small broccoli florets in salted boiling water for ten minutes, or until tender, transfer to the pasta bowl, toss, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt
- Into a large sauté pan add olive oil and butter warming through
- On very low temperature, stir in garlic and chopped anchovies cooking until anchovies melt into the oil Stir in the red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley
- Pour the Bagna Cauda into the pasta and broccoli bowl toss well then return the coated pasta dish back to the large sauté pan, stir while heating through for two to three minutes letting flavors blend together
- Sprinkle in another couple pinches of salt along with a few grinds of cracked black pepper
- Transfer to a serving platter, top with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese