Friends came to visit in early spring and during their stay they toured a broccoli farm that specialises in summer broccoli. The next day, I was at the local hardware shop and noticed summer broccoli seeds. I was willing to be proven wrong, so I planted a row of seeds. And now we have lots of broccoli. 🙂
Last week we had stir fried sweet chilli chicken (with broccoli, onions and red capsicum); then beef & broccoli noodle stir-fry (with soy sauce, oyster sauce and ginger); and then linguine with broccoli and pancetta.
Even though we had broccoli three nights in a row we didn’t feel we were on broccoli over load. Broccoli overload may have been reached the other night when I had broccoli frittata or last night, when I rang Maus (she is in Bridgetown and I am not) she was preparing a broccoli cook-op.
I found this recipe for linguine, broccoli and pancetta in a wonderful book Colette, my darling friend, bought me called: The Flavour Thesaurus, Pairings, recipes and ideas for the creative cook by Niki Segnit. Each ingredient has a chapter and in the chapter pairings with that ingredient are listed. This recipe comes under the pairing of broccoli and bacon.
The other pairings for broccoli are: broccoli and anchovy; broccoli and beef; broccoli and chilli; broccoli and walnut (one of my favourites); broccoli and blue cheese (another favourite); broccoli and cauliflower; broccoli and hard cheese; broccoli and peanut; and broccoli and pork. It is a great book if you create your own recipes and need to understand tried and true culinary pairings.
Our broccoli marathon had the broccoli pairings of broccoli and chilli, broccoli and beef and broccoli and bacon covered. I have also covered a few more pairings in my posts Penne with blue cheese, walnuts and bacon and Penne with broccoli and chorizo.
Under the heading broccoli and bacon Niki states notes that broccoli and pancetta make a delicious bittersweet, salty combination. She described this dish as an Italian combination that’s almost Asian in its extremes of sweet, sour, salty, hot and umami.
- 75g pines nuts
- 3 tbs* olive oil
- 10 dried chillies
- 6 cloves of garlic,sliced
- 400g linguine
- 400g broccoli, cut into small florets
- 200g pancetta, cubed
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
(I was very flexible with the amount of broccoli and pancetta I used, as I am sure you could also be with the amount of sun-dried tomatoes.)
- Toast the pine nuts, set aside.
- Cook the linguine.
- In a large frying pan over a medium heat, flavour the oil with the dried chillies and garlic. Remove the chillies and garlic when the garlic is golden.
(I must admit I threw some of the garlic back in later, but you are not supposed to).
- Add the cubed pancetta to the garlicky oil, fry until crisp
- Toss in the broccoli, making sure it is well coated in the oil, cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a minute longer.
- Add 3-5 tablespoons* of pasta cooking water to loosen the mixture.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with half of the pine nuts.
- Turn the heat off, season, and mix thoroughly.
- Divide between 4 plates and scatter with the remaining pine nuts and some grated Parmesan.
*These are 15 mil tablespoons.