It's cold, it’s raining, I'm sick and the doctor told me this morning that I'll probably have to get my tonsils removed. It’s a sad state of affairs.
To cheer myself up, last night I made a hearty broccoli and anchovy pasta soup, flavoured with garlic, chilli and tomato. Those familiar with Pugliese cuisine will recognise the excellent pairing of broccoli and anchovies. This is one of those recipes, like a puttanesca sauce, where the anchovies disintegrate into the food and provide the saltiness.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo last night so I took the snap today when I reheated the leftovers for lunch. The pasta had absorbed some of the liquid, so bear in mind that if you make the recipe you can expect it to have much more broth.
Broccoli & Anchovy Pasta Soup
This recipe comes from a cookbook called ‘Pasta Sauces’ by Jeni Wright. I made a few adaptations to increase the flavours. It should serve 2, depending on how greedy you are.
30ml olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
5 anchovies in oil, drained
300ml dry white wine
1 litre vegetable stock
300g / 2 cups broccoli florets
200g / 1¾ dried pasta (shells, orecchiette or tiny pasta shapes)
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated pecorino or parmigiano cheese, to serve
1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, chilli and anchovies and cook over a low heat, stirring all the time, for 5 – 6 minutes.
2. Add the passata and wine, with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover the pan, then cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for 12 – 15 minutes.
3. Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then add the broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and bring back to the boil, stirring. Simmer, stirring frequently until the pasta is al dente, approximately 7 – 8 minutes.
4. Serve hot in warmed bowls and top generously with grated cheese.