Broccoli Pasta

  • 125g Parmesan cheese
  • Large head of broccoli
  • 4-8 anchovies (depending on taste)
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers, heaped 
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chili
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g dried pasta (shells, penne, rigattoni)
  • Olive oil for frying

Grate the Parmesan into a bowl and cut all the broccoli florets off the stalk. Halve the large broccoli stalk and put into a food processor (fitted with the standard blade attachment) with the anchovies, drained capers, virgin olive oil, dried chili and cloves of garlic. Blitz it all into a paste, a kind of broccoli pesto.

Boil water in a large deep saucepan.

Put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat and spoon in the broccoli paste. Fry for a few minutes, stirring, then add some thyme leaves, without the woody stalks. Pour a wineglass of water into the pan and give it a good stir. Keep your eye on it, stirring every now and then. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

Add the pasta to the saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and cook according to the packet’s instructions. After about 5 minutes add all the broccoli florets to the pasta with a little extra water if necessary.

When cooked, drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander, keeping some of the cooking water. Add the pasta and broccoli to the frying pan of paste with a big handful or two of grated Parmesan. Ladle a little cooking water into the pasta and carefully stir around until you achieve shiny, loose pasta.

Season to taste with fresh black pepper and salt if necessary, and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan.