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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Five Simple Ways to Make Delicious Broccoli Pasta | The Regional Variations of Southern Italy

Broccoli (at least the kind that you’re likely thinking of) is a traditional southern Italian ingredient. Each region of the south has its own variation of broccoli pasta, with its own twist on the basic preparation. Below are instructions for how to make each of them; they’re easy, quick and healthy so pick one that looks yummy to you and give it a shot!


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Five Simple Ways to Make Delicious Broccoli Pasta | Healthy and Delicious Broccoli Pasta

Preparing the Broccoli


All of the following recipes require cooked broccoli. For 4 servings, you’ll need about 10 ounces (280 g) of raw broccoli. Boil the broccoli in a large pot of salted water for about 15 minutes, or until it is slightly tender but not completely cooked. Drain and set aside for later.


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CAMPANIAN BROCCOLI PASTA RECIPE


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Campanian Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Makes: 3-4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • Cooked broccoli (see above)

  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) colatura di alici Italian fish sauce (optional but recommended)

  • Salt

  • 12 ounces (350 g) spaghetti pasta

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta and salt it generously. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli into the pan and ladle in just enough of the pasta water to get a simmer going. Reduce the heat and cook the broccoli until it is very tender, then mash it into a paste with a fork. If needed, add more pasta water as necessary to maintain moisture.


When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti. Boil it for 2 minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Meanwhile, stir the colatura di alici into the broccoli and salt the sauce to taste. Remove and discard the garlic clove.


When the pasta is cooked, transfer it into the broccoli sauce with tongs. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste. Ladle in more pasta water if the sauce is too thick.


Turn off the heat and stir in a very generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately, topped with extra cheese.



SICILIAN BROCCOLI PASTA RECIPE


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Sicilian Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Makes: 3-4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling, divided

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 10 anchovy fillets

  • 1-2 dried or fresh chili peppers, whole

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) tomato paste

  • Cooked broccoli (see above)

  • Salt

  • 12 ounces (350 g) bucatini pasta

  • 1 cup (130 g) bread crumbs


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta and salt it generously. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, the garlic, anchovies and chili peppers in a large pan over medium heat. Stir until the anchovies are “dissolved” in the oil. Then, stir in the tomato paste.


Add the broccoli into the pan and ladle in just enough of the pasta water to get a simmer going. Reduce the heat and cook the broccoli until it is very tender, then mash it into a paste with a fork. If needed, add more pasta water as necessary to maintain moisture. Remove and discard the garlic clove and chili peppers, and salt the sauce to taste.


When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the bucatini. Boil it for 2 minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a small skillet over medium/high heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast them, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Set aside for later.


When the pasta is cooked, transfer it into the broccoli sauce with tongs. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste. Ladle in more pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and plenty of toasted bread crumbs.



LUCANIAN BROCCOLI PASTA RECIPE


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Lucanian Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Makes: 3-4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying the peppers and drizzling

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • Cooked broccoli (see above)

  • Salt

  • 12 ounces (350 g) cavatelli pasta


Sometimes peperoni cruschi come pre-fried. If not and they’re just dried, you’ll need to fry them yourself which is very easy. Fill a small pan with enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom and heat over high heat until shimmering. Drop the peperoni in for just a two or three seconds on each side. Remove with tongs, let them cool, and crumble them into small pieces. Set aside for later.


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta and salt it generously. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli into the pan and ladle in just enough of the pasta water to get a simmer going. Reduce the heat and cook the broccoli until it is very tender, then mash it into a paste with a fork. If needed, add more pasta water as necessary to maintain moisture.


When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cavatelli. Boil it for 2 minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Meanwhile, stir most of the crumbled peperoni into the sauce, reserving some for topping later. Remove and discard the garlic clove and salt the sauce to taste.


When the pasta is cooked, transfer it into the broccoli sauce with tongs. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste. Ladle in more pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and the remaining peperoni.



APPULIAN BROCCOLI PASTA RECIPE


italian-broccoli-pasta-recipe-traditional-delicous-best-italy-healthy-vegetable-appulian-appulia-puglia-orecchiette-sausage
Appulian Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Makes: 3-4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • 2 large Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled

  • 1 cup (240 ml) white wine

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) tomato paste

  • Cooked broccoli (see above)

  • Salt

  • 12 ounces (350 g) orecchiette pasta


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta and salt it generously. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil a large pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté until browned, breaking it up into a crumble as it cooks. Add the white wine and stir in the tomato paste. Reduce the heat, bring the wine to a simmer, and cook until the smell of alcohol has dissipated—about 2-3 minutes.


Add the broccoli into the pan and ladle in just enough of the pasta water to get a simmer going (if the wine doesn’t already provide enough liquid). Cook the broccoli until it is very tender, then mash it into a paste with a fork. If needed, add more pasta water as necessary to maintain moisture.


When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cavatelli. Boil it for 2 minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Meanwhile, salt the broccoli sauce to taste.


When the pasta is cooked, transfer it into the sauce with tongs. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste. Ladle in more pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of olive oil.



CALABRIAN BROCCOLI PASTA RECIPE


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Calabrian Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Makes: 3-4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 1 dried or fresh chili pepper, chopped

  • 15.5 ounce (450 g) can of cooked chickpeas, drained (you can also cook them yourself, using about half the amount by weight, although in many cases canned is actually better quality than dried)

  • 1 cup (240 ml) tomato puree

  • Cooked broccoli (see above)

  • Salt

  • 12 ounces (350 g) filei pasta


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta and salt it generously. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil, garlic and chili pepper in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and tomato puree, plus just enough of the pasta water to get a simmer going. Simmer for about 10 minutes.


Add the broccoli into the pan and, if necessary, ladle in more pasta water to keep the simmer going. Reduce the heat and cook the broccoli until it is very tender, then mash it into a paste with a fork. Be careful not to mash the chickpeas as you do so. If needed, add more pasta water as necessary to maintain moisture as the broccoli cooks.


When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the filei. Boil it for 2 minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Meanwhile, remove and discard the garlic clove from the sauce.


When the pasta is cooked, transfer it into the broccoli sauce with tongs. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste. Ladle in more pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of olive oil.


Want to try some other simple, delicious and healthy pasta recipes? Check out this Green Bean & Tomato Pasta!

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