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Authentic Sicilian Pasta With Broccoli

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This traditional Sicilian recipe brings together North African and Italian culinary traditions. A cult dish!

In 'Il ladro di merendine', a popular Sicilian novel, police captain Montalbano receives a phone call at home in the evening and answers 'Montalbano speaking. I am eating broccoli pasta, who the hell is disturbing me!'. There are many ways of eating pasta with broccoli, but few can elicit such intense reactions as this one. like for Arancini, Sicilian gastronomy plays a central role in this book by Italy's most popular living author Andrea Camilleri.

Pasta with broccoli
A traditional Palermo recipe
500 gr italian maccheroni
1000 gr broccoli
40 gr raisins
40 gr pine nuts
2 anchovy fillets preserved in salted oil
1 pinch of saffron
1 large onion
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
oil, salt and pepper

I make my maccheroni from scratch - it only takes about 20 minutes - but you can use any bronze-extruded semolina maccheroni to good effect.

Start by cutting the broccoli into apricot-sized florets. Fill the largest saucepan you have with water, salt profusely and bring to a boil. Immerse the broccoli and remove them with a sieve when they are cooked but still crunchy - about 8 minutes. Put them in a covered bowl. Do not discard the water.

In a large saucepan, fry the finely chopped onion in a little olive oil over medium-high heat. When the onions are pale brown, add the chopped anchovies and cook for another minute or so.


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