Pasta With Broccoli and Anchovies

"Okay, so once I discovered the joy of anchovies as part of a sauce, I was hooked! This is from Description included the following memorable quote: "Note well that you'll find no evidence of hairy little fish in the finished dish, and only the most haunting scent of the sea in a rich, salty flavor.""
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  • Rinse the broccoli and cut it into bite-size florets. If you're feeling thrifty, you can peel and slice the "trunk" into bite-size pieces, too, although using florets only makes for an attractive presentation.
  • Peel the garlic and mince it fine. Chop the anchovies fine, discarding any excess oil.
  • Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium-low heat and gently cook the minced garlic with a small shake of dried red-pepper flakes (just enough for an accent; you don't want a fiery dish) until the garlic turns translucent and aromatic. Stir in the chopped anchovies and continue poaching gently for a few minutes, stirring until the anchovies dissolve into the oil. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pot full of lightly salted water and cook the broccoli and pasta together until the pasta is done; at that point the broccoli will be very soft.
  • Drain the broccoli and pasta, catching a bit of the pasta water in a measuring cup. Put the broccoli and pasta in a warm serving bowl and toss with the anchovy and garlic oil and, if necessary, a bit of the pasta water to achieve a thick saucy texture. Serve with crusty bread and a salad as a hearty side dish or main course.

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I only came to cooking in my 50s, when we moved home to a tiny town with only a few restaurants. I'm always on the hunt for easy, flavorful recipes (often ethnic cuisines), and I'm always ready to try something new and different! In cold weather I gravitate to stews, soups, and casseroles of the not-too-heavy kind; in hot weather I love a salad or cold soup. Partly because of my husband's diabetes (I'm borderline) and partly out of indolence, baking is not my thing.
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