Recipe: Orecchiette with Broccoli, Roast Garlic, and Sicilian Flavours

Last night’s dinner was sort of ad-hoc and random.  I was so very zonked.  But I had some lovely, fresh orecchiette from Take Me Home pasta in the fridge, and a couple of heads of broccoli and some roasted garlic, and a whole pantry full of those little flavour-popping ingredients that I couldn’t use all last week – and somehow I had this lovely, vaguely Sicilian, pasta dish on the table in about thirty minutes after I got home.

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And then I went to bed.

It was a yummy pasta dish, though.

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olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
80 g pine nuts
2 big spoonfuls of roasted garlic
1-2 red chillis
2 small heads of broccoli
1/4 cup capers
1/3 cup currants
200 g orecchiette pasta

Now what will you do with it?

Heat the olive oil, and sauté the breadcrumbs and pine nuts until getting nicely golden.  Tip out into a large bowl and mix through the roasted garlic.  I actually used my hands to massage it through which was rather glorious except my hands still smell faintly of garlic nearly a day later (and yes, I *have* washed my hands in the meantime.  Several times, even.  I may be just imagining the garlic at this point, however.  Or perhaps I am just exuding it from my pores because GARLIC…).

Start heating the water for the pasta while you prepare the chillis and broccoli.

De-seed the chilli, and chop it finely.  Divide the broccoli into small florets, then peel and chop as much of the stalk as you have the patience for.  In my case, this was about one and a half of the two stalks.

Sauté the chilli in a little olive oil, then add the broccoli and toss about a bit.  Add a little bit of water to the pan, and reduce the heat.  Continue to cook over this lower heat until the broccoli is soft but still very bright green.

Rinse the capers *well* (this dish was very nearly too salty, because I didn’t pay enough attention to this step), and add to the broccoli with the currants.  Stir around a bit.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta.  Drain, and add to the bowl with the garlicky breadcrumbs and the broccoli and its friends.  Toss everything together well, and serve.  You could add parmesan, but I don’t think you need to.

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Variations

This recipes is vegan (yay!), gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta (double yay!) and low-GI.  It isn’t nut-free, though many people with nut allergies can handle pine-nuts, so it’s probably worth asking.  The currants take it out of the low fructose camp, and are rather integral to the flavour, so sorry about that.

Still too zonked to think of flavour variations, but I’m thinking that a little lemon or orange zest might add a nice touch, and this would be *amazing* served with a fennel and orange salad.

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One year ago: Pantry Challenge Day 14: When planning pays off

Two years ago: Gluten-Free Love!

Three years ago: Basics that aren’t: Bechamel Sauce (and variations)

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