Chef Fortunato Mazzoni of Ritrovo in Waterkloof Pretoria shares his recipe for Penne Broccoli e Acciughe.
• 500 gm High Quality Durum Wheat pasta from Italy and preferably from Gragnano.
• 500 ml Morgenster extra virgin olive oil or Morgenster Don Carlo extra virgin olive oil
• handful of fresh breadcrumbs grated finely and toasted for one minute in the oven
• 12 nice anchovies (either from oil or if using salted, well rinsed)
• ½ teaspoon Maldon Salt
• ½ teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
• 1 small head of French Broccoli broken into small finger size florets and rinsed
• wedge of Parmesan on standby with a grater (Parmiggiano Reggiano or Grana Padano)
In a large stockpot (minimum 24 cm) get at least 3 litres of water boiling very vigorously with 1 tablespoon of fine salt added.
In a large sauté pan place at least 100 ml Morgenster olive oil on a medium heat. Once hot add the florets of broccoli and the anchovies, stir well and close the lid to soften the broccoli.
As you close the lid add the pasta to the boiling water. Cooking time for al-dente should be 8-10 minutes. Stir the pasta to prevent sticking.
While the pasta is cooking stir the broccoli in the olive oil and add the seasoning. Keep the lid on when not stirring.
As the pasta is ready, drain it off very fast retaining a tiny drop of the cooking water. Throw the well-drained pasta into the sauté pan with the oil and broccoli with anchovy. Please be careful as the water on the pasta can make the oil spit. Pour it all in in one movement and quickly stir through.
Add the handful of breadcrumbs and stir through thoroughly. Make sure all the penne are well coated with oil. If it needs more oil because the breadcrumbs absorb plenty splash some more on as needed. The pasta must be glistening.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of the reserved hot cooking water if more moisture is needed. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano or Grana Padano.