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. —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
heads broccoli (florets removed, stems saved)
hot peppers, like Thai (seeds removed, julienned)
cloves garlic (sliced)
small onion (diced)
dry white wine
1/2 - 3/4 cups
reserved pasta water
salt and pepper
In This Recipe
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, but dry pasta can also be used). 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.