Pasta e broccoli is one of our most popular Italian dishes. Almost everyone likes it, so it is one of the most dependable recipes on the Mascalzone Menu.
With Winter drawing in the perfect addition to this tasty dish is to add some Italian Sausage and for that extra warmth some fresh chilli. With a glass of full bodied red alongside this dish is a perfect comfort away from the cold snap this time of year.
For Pasta Salsiccia e Broccoli it is necessary to cook the broccoli until it is soft and tender. For many people’s standards this will be overcooking. The aim here, though, is to create a kind of sauce by making the broccoli buds soft enough to breakdown and transform into something bouncy and lest resistant.
In the words fo food writer Laurie Colwin, the broccoli “should give not fight back.”
First the broccoli is boiled until soft and then lifted from the saucepan with a slotted spoon so that we can keep the water for the pasta. In a separate pan fry some garlic and chilli with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.
For an additional variation it is possible to use guanciale, a type of bacon and addition from a recipe orginating from the Apennines. Once the garlic becomes fragrant add the sausage money meet and then the wine. The dish should now begin to sizzle nicely. For the pasta orecchiette, cavatelli or fusilli all work well, although usually i prefer to cook with linguine or penne.
Finally add the broccoli and then the cooked pasta. For the pasta orecchiette, cavatelli or fusilli all work well, although usually i prefer to cook with linguine or penne.
The combination of the generous helping of olive oil, the wine and the cooking water will make the sauce stick to the pasta and the broccoli. Once the cheese is added everything will come together to conjure up a creamy, rich sauce – perfect for a no nonsense meal at either lunchtime or dinner time during the cold season!
1x large head of broccoli (around 1kg), trimmed and cut into small florets
6x tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or 60g guanciale if following the Apennine variation)
1x Large red chilli, or a pinch of red chilli flakes
2x Garlic cloves
150-200g sausage meat, or sausages squeezed from their casings
100ml red or white wine
500g short pasta (orecchiette, cavatelli, fusilli, linguine or penne)
40g pecorino or parmesan, grated
Pinch of Salt to Season
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt, stir and then add the broccoli and cook until tender.
- Remove the broccoli florets from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside making sure to keep the cooking water for the pasta.
- In a large frying pan, warm the olive oil or guanciale over a medium-low flame
- Gently fry the chilli and garlic. The garlic can be peeled and crushed for a mild flavour or chopped for stronger flavour. Fry until fragrant.
- Crumble the sausage meat into the pan and stir until the meat is brown all over.
- Add the wine, raise the heat and let the pan bubble for few minutes until the wine has evaporated away.
- Add the cooked broccoli and stir.
- Bring the water used to cook the broccoli back to the boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- Using a slotted spoon, lift the cooked pasta, and the residual water that clings to it, into the frying pan.
- Add the grated parmesan or pecorino cheese and stir again, then serve, passing round more grated cheese for those who want it.
SUITABLE WINE PAIRINGS
In terms of the sauce the pasta salsiccia e broccoli works well with either red or white. The same can be said for an accompaniment, although personally nothing compares to a decent full bodied red, esepcially considering that this dish is a warmer-upper for the winter season!
Montepulciano D’Abruzzo leaps to mind. Abruzzo’s steep hills and forest give the wine an earthy and herby flavour, which strikes a chord with the heat of the chilli and the Italian sausage, particularly if the sausage contains fennel.
Have You Booked Your Christmas Party?
Speaking of the festive season, it’s the time of year to party! December is soon upon us and Mascalzone are gearing up for the Xmas atmos!
We’re celebrating with a choice of set menus each containing a selection of mouth watering recipes both new and old to warm the hearts and bring compliments of the season!
If you would like to organise your Christmas Party at Mascalzone, or perhaps a get together just with family and friends follow the link below to chat to one of our team – we looking forward to working with you!
Follow the link below to chat to one of our team – we looking forward to working with you!
Some of the dishes featured on the Mascalzone Set Menu below:
Author: Toto Mascalzone
Toto Mascalzone is event and marketing manager at Mascalzone restaurant. He is an Italian wine writer and educator, blogger, and food and wine enthusiast currently living in London. He is author of the wine and lifestyle blog, and was a co-editor, together with Italian wine writer a blog devoted to news from the world of Italian wine.