Orecchiette with Purple Sprouting Broccoli & Chilli
This recipe is very popular in southern Italy and serves 3 people as a main course (4 as a starter)
350g orecchiette pasta
250g sprouting broccoli
1 tsp chopped red chilli
2 cloves garlic, sliced
50g Pecorino cheese
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Blanch the broccoli in a pan of boiling salted water until it is just cooked. Then remove from the pan and set to one side.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, as per the packet instructions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in another pan (large enough to toss the cooked pasta with the other ingredients). Saute the chilli and garlic without adding any colour, then add the sprouting broccoli and toss together.
When the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the broccoli and chilli. If needed, add a touch more olive oil. Serve and finish with the grated cheese.
Tip: We always aim to have protein in every meal so adding cooked chicken breast to the pan when you add the cooked pasta will give you that protein boost.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Parma-ham & Mozzarella Salad
Serves 4 as a light lunch/supper
2 buffalo mozzarella balls
400g purple sprouting broccoli,halved lengthways (see tips)
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 small soft leaf lettuces
8 parma ham slices
10 radishes, finely sliced
Crusty bread to serve
01.Take the mozzarella out of the packets, drain and leave to come up to room temperature while you make the rest of the salad. Put the broccoli in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Make sure all the stems are coated with a light sheen. Tear the leaves off the lettuces (keep them whole) and arrange on a large serving platter.
02.Heat a griddle pan to smoking hot, then cook the broccoli in batches (cut-side down) for 2-3 minutes, without turning, until grill-marked. Flip and cook on the other side for 1 minute until cooked but still with a little bite.
03.To make the dressing, whisk the lemon zest and half the juice with the honey, mustard and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Drizzle in the 50ml oil, whisking continuously. Taste and season, adding more lemon juice if you think it needs it – the dressing should taste slightly sweet and sharp.
04.Tear the mozzarella into large pieces and arrange over the lettuce. Top with the griddled broccoli, then tuck in the parma ham and scatter over the radish slices. Drizzle over two thirds of the dressing, then serve the salad with crusty bread and extra dressing on the side.
Tips: Make the dressing up to 12 hours in advance and keep covered at room temperature. Whisk it well before serving.
You can also griddle the broccoli an hour ahead, then serve it at room temperature.
Omit the honey and mustard in the dressing and just use extra virgin olive oil and lemon if preferred.