Let me tell you: it feels good. To have that weight off my shoulders. To have my weekends back. Well, to have my sanity back, for that matter. My list of things to do now finally has on it things I actually want to do, such as ‘book flights to Tbilisi’, because if all goes according to plan in November I’ll be there visiting my sister. Which reminds me that I need to ‘think about Anastasia’s present’, because my baby niece is going to be 1 year old soon and you just can’t let that happen without some serious celebrations. As far as celebrations go, though, I think I need a break from all that food. You see, my mum and dad came to visit for a couple of weeks and we ate way too much. We fed them a pie, a Sunday roast, a full English, the best curry in town, tacos and homemade pizza. Then there were cheeses, bread, pork pies, biscuits, fudge, scones, cake – well, various cakes. As well as pints and pints of the finest English ales. So when they left, it was time to go back to simpler and less fattening fare. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to one of the quickest and simplest pasta recipes I know, which also happens to make for a tasty and fine dinner.

FC&G_dried_chillies_pasta FC&G_broccoli_head_halved

FC&G, around: I am always on time – I hate being late. However, this hasn’t stopped me from completely forgetting to tell you about a recipe of mine (another pasta recipe, incidentally) which graces issue 3 of the lovely Young Explorer zine made by my friends Liz and Steve. The zine came out a few months ago, so, uhm, yeah, you’re lucky if it’s not already sold out. If you hurry up you can still get your hands on it on Etsy. I mean, look at the cheeses on the cover! They’re the second-ever cutest artistic representation of food after this pork pie.

A note on the recipe: The key to making this pasta is to work with the cooking time of your pasta. The orecchiette I used took about 10 minutes to cook. You want to cook the broccoli together with the pasta for about 5 minutes, so what I did was cook the pasta alone for 4 minutes, then add the broccoli and then drain them after 5 minutes. They both retain enough moisture to cook a bit more in the pan with chilli, garlic and anchovies.


Orecchiette ai broccoli

For two

170 gr orecchiette (alternatively you can use another short pasta)
1 broccoli head
extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 preserved anchovies
2 dried chillies (or more, depending on how hot they are)
1 garlic clove
ground black pepper and grated Parmigiano (or Grana)

Bring a large pot of water to a feisty boil. Tip the orecchiette in and cook for 4 minutes (if you are reading this and haven’t read the note above the ingredients, read it NOW!). While the orecchiette are cooking, chop the broccoli head in small pieces. Use florets and stalk: this only needs the outer skin cut off and then it’s good to go. Add the broccoli to the pasta pot. Make sure the boil is still going strong. While pasta and broccoli continue cooking, place a frying pan on medium heat and add some extra virgin olive oil and a few anchovy fillets. Add the finely chopped chillies. Stir with a wooden spoon to break the anchovies up. Finely chop the garlic clove and add it to the pan at the very last minute. Drain pasta and broccoli and toss them in the pan with garlic, chilli and anchovies for a minute or so. Serve immediately with some grated Parmigiano and black pepper on top.