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Orecchiette with Sprouting Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Sultanas

Orecchiette in Italian means ‘little ears’ and while they are a very special pasta shape, which catches the sauce perfectly, they are not always available, so any other pasta shape can be used. It’s also worth noting that this is much much nicer that it sounds!


This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Italian.


First of all, put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Then put the sultanas in a small bowl, cover with cold water and leave them to soak for 5 minutes so they plump up. Meanwhile, trim the tough, fibrous ends off the sprouting broccoli and then slice the stems into short, ½ inch (1 cm) lengths, dividing up some of the larger heads of broccoli as you want them to be the same size as the pasta. Transfer the sprouting broccoli to a steamer, sprinkle with salt and cover and steam for 7 minutes.

Then remove the steamer from the pan and leave aside, covered. Now quickly add the water from the steamer pan to the pasta pan and bring it back to boiling point to cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the sliced onion for 3 or 4 minutes. Then throw in the pine nuts and sultanas (drain them first) and continue to cook gently until the onion is softened and the pine nuts lightly browned.

Now add the chopped anchovy fillets, and as soon as they have melted into the mix, the sauce is ready. Add the steamed broccoli and briefly toss everything together. Then drain the pasta, return it to the hot, dry pan you cooked it in and toss it with the broccoli mixture. Season to taste and serve immediately with plenty of freshly grated Pecorino Romano.


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