Early Spring Orecchiette with Sprouting Broccoli, Garlic, Chili, Anchovy & Lemon

Early Spring Orecchiette with Sprouting Broccoli, Garlic, Chili, Anchovy & Lemon

Serves 2-3 


1-2 bunches sprouting broccoli or kale (you’ll use about 2 ½ - 3 cups once it’s blanched and cut)

6-8 ounce or 2 servings orecchiette pasta (or a similarly shaped noodle of your choice) 

1-2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced 

6 anchovy filets in oil 


4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 

¼ - ½ teaspoon chili flakes 

Zest from half a meyer or regular lemon, grated or shaved with a vegetable peeler and cut into thin strips 

⅓ - ½ cup broth (low-sodium if using store bought)

1 tablespoon butter 

⅓  cup parsley, roughly chopped 

Lemon juice, to finish 

Pecorino Romano, grated or in crumbles  


Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with water and a decent amount of ice. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add your broccoli. Blanch for 1 ½ - 2 minutes, then remove from the water (save this water to boil your pasta in!) with a slotted spoon or tongs, and add to the ice bath immediately then let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, turn the water down to a very slow simmer and reserve for your pasta. Drain broccoli and pick leaves from the stalks, cut stems on a ¼” bias, and slice the last 2” of the top in half lengthwise. Set all aside. 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add oil. Once oil is hot, add shallots, anchovies, and a big pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often to dissolve the anchovies into the oil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, and cook, stirring often, for another minute. Add chili fakes and lemon zest, and let cook for 1 minute. Add your broccoli and let cook for 1 minute, then add your broth. Let the skillet hang out over low heat while you make the pasta. 

Bring your salted water to a boil, add your pasta, and cook according to the package directions (usually 4 minutes to reach al dente). Drain pasta, reserving a bit of pasta water. 

Increase the heat to medium-high on your skillet and add 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil). Allow liquid to reduce by about half, then add your pasta and a few spoonfuls of pasta water. Toss or stir to incorporate everything, and continue to cook until a desired amount of liquid remains. Turn off the heat and add your parsley, and season to taste with additional salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with cheese and additional chili flakes as desired. Enjoy immediately! 

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