Monday, January 18, 2016

A recipe that will come to your rescue: pasta with broccoli, anchovies and garlic

I couldn't tell you how often I've made this for supper. I discovered it in Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef about 15 years ago and have probably made it more than a hundred times since then. I've adapted the recipe a little to make it OMS friendly but it still tastes as lip-smackingly good as ever.

The flavour combination isn't the only reason this has become one of my go-to recipes. It's also easy and quick to make and I always have the ingredients to hand. 

I've even found that this recipe comes to the rescue if ever I'm hungover. There's something about the carbs in the pasta together with the saltiness of the anchovies and the head-clearing qualities of chilli that make it the ideal hangover buster!

So, here's how you whip up dinner for a hungry woman in the space of 15 minutes.

100g dried pasta (I use wholewheat farfalle)
One quarter of a head of broccoli, stem and all
1 large clove of garlic
4 anchovies
1 tablespoon of olive oil (if your anchovies come in oil, use some of that)
1/4 teaspoon of chilli
Salt and black pepper

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a generous amount of salt and when the water starts bubbling again, add the pasta. Wholewheat pasta usually takes about 15 minutes to cook, which allows you plenty of time to get everything else ready.
  • Chop the stem off your quarter head of broccoli. Cut off the dried-out end of the stem and any rough edges. Then chop the remainder into one-centimetre pieces. Don't worry too much about being precise. This isn't that sort of recipe.
  • Cut the head of broccoli into small florets and add any chunky stems to your pile of stem pieces. In this recipe nothing goes to waste.
  • You should end up with two piles that look something like this:

  • Chop your garlic as finely as you can.
  • Add the oil, anchovies, garlic, chilli and broccoli pieces to a small saucepan. Cover the saucepan and place over a low heat for seven minutes. I recommend shaking the saucepan about every minute or so to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom. If you feel that there is a danger of this happening or that your garlic might burn, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to keep the temperature down and make sure your concoction doesn't fry to a frazzle. 
  • Add the broccoli florets to the pan with the pasta in it five minutes or so before the pasta is due to be ready.
  • Then when everything is cooked, strain the water from the pasta and broccoli and toss them both into the pan with the broccoli pieces. Add some freshly-ground black pepper (be generous) and combine all of the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Pour everything into a bowl, making sure that you scrape out every last drizzle of the garlicky, anchovy-flavoured oil at the bottom of the pan. That's where all the real flavour is!


  1. Love this and fantastic that it's OMS friendly.

    1. Let me know how you get on when you try it. I love hearing how people use and modify my recipes!