Melted Broccoli with Fresh Pasta

Aside from tomato sauce with pasta, I've not had many other vegetable based pasta sauces. Pesto doesn't count. Cheese and cream don't count as vegetables, people. And when I say sauce, I don't mean vegetables tossed in olive oil and garlic. Now, please don't get me wrong. I love all adaptations of sauce on pasta. I'm just saying, how often do we get a vegetable based sauce that isn't tomatoes? Not that often.

What I've done here, is adapt a few fabulous recipes to make what I believe, is something I will keep as a go-to pasta sauce recipe in my kitchen. Check out the other recipes I used as inspiration here and here on

You cook the broccoli for 2 hours, over loads of olive oil, a bit of butter, garlic and..... anchovies. My sister panicked when she found out what I was going to make her eat. Just try them. They melt down and give the dish some wonderful depth, with zero very, very minimal fish flavor. Oh, and did I forget to mention I made fresh pasta? Yep. I did. And it was darn good.

Melted Broccoli Sauce

2-3 heads broccoli (florets removed, stems saved)
5 anchovy filets
3 hot peppers, like Thai (seeds removed, sliced long ways)
6 cloves garlic (sliced)
4 small spring onions (diced)
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 - 1 cup reserved pasta water
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Drop in broccoli florets and stems to blanch, for about 5 minutes, or until bright green. Remove from water and drain.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, hot peppers and anchovies and cook until anchovies are melted, about 5 minutes. Yes, they melt away to nothing but salty goodness. Add some salt and pepper.

Add the white wine to the sauce and bring to a slow simmer. When simmering, reduce heat to low. Add broccoli, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

Cover the pan and cook for about 2 hours, stirring only occasionally. The broccoli will break down quite a bit, so help it along when stirring by smashing a little. You want it to turn into a sauce.

Cook your pasta just when the sauce is finishing up (I made homemade pasta, recipe follow). Ladle about 1 cup of pasta water into the broccoli sauce. Finish the dish by adding the pasta straight to the pan with the sauce. Toss to coat.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and some additional fresh cracked pepper.

Fresh Pasta

I won't claim a recipe of my own quite yet. I'm still learning how to perfect pasta. I scoured the internet for some good recipes, and ended up using a combination of this and this. Simple and delicious.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
4 large eggs
pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, add flour. Make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well. Beat eggs with a fork, and start mixing in the flour. Once mostly mixed, ditch the fork and use your hands. Mix lightly until all ingredients are combined.

Turn the dough out onto a flour dusted counter. Knead the dough with the heel of your hand f until the dough is very smooth. The dough should be smooth, not sticky or tacky. Add a small amount of flour if it is sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the wrap and cut the into 4 pieces. Flatten each piece into a rough rectangle, then pass it through your pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold dough in thirds and pass it through again and again, until it is to your desired thinness. Cut dough into whatever shape pasta you are making.

Cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. 

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