Pasta with Wilted Broccoli.

I’m not a fan of broccoli on the whole, but now that purple sprouting is in season, I do make the effort to be good and use it. Tonight I made it into a pasta sauce and this is what I did – I won’t give measurments/weights I rarely use them. You need:

  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • 2 cloves of garlic (I used smoked that I brought back from France last year)
  • Chilli oil (which my daughter made – ouch, it was hot!)
  • Thyme leaves
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  • A knob of butter

Steam the broccoli over the boiling pasta water to which you have NOT YET added the pasta. When slightly wilted, take the veg off the steam and put into the pan in which you have gently fried the garlic in the chilli oil – keeping it on a low heat. When it is a cooked a little more, add the pasta to the boiling water and as soon as it comes back to the boil, put the lid on and take it off the heat. Add the thyme to the veg, together with the lemon zest and juice and the butter, stir to distribute the flavours. When it is floppy, check the pasta, drain it and put into the pan with the broccoli check to see if you need salt, mix it all together and serve. You could, if you wanted to, serve with grated hard cheese, but I don’t find it necessary. If you don’t have chilli oil then simply use chillies. I didn’t exactly invent this dish since there must be many recipes for a similar dish, but I used what I had and I liked the way it turned out. It’s just a matter of knowing which flavours will complement each other.


– Toni Anne