Many people don’t like anchovies, and with good reason – eaten alone the flavour is very strong. However, when added to sauces and properly balanced, you’d never know they were there in the first place. This dish has converted many an anchovy resister, so give it a go. The combination of salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy is an absolute winner, plus you get your quota of greens for the day, too.
- 2 slices sourdough bread, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 2 tbsp currants
- 320 g broccoli, cut into small florets
- 120 g fresh ricotta
- juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3–4 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- salt and pepper
- 180 g orecchiette pasta
- ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Spread the breadcrumbs on an oven tray and bake for 8–10 minutes until golden. Season to taste and set aside. Cover the currants in hot water and set aside for 10 minutes, drain.
Cook broccoli in a saucepan of salted water until very tender, 5–6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Refresh one quarter of the florets in cold water, drain and set aside.
Place the remaining broccoli in a blender or food processor with the ricotta, lemon rind and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Blend until smooth and set aside (alternatively, use a potato masher to combine ingredients for a more rustic sauce).
Cook the pasta in the salted broccoli water following packet directions, drain, reserving 125 ml of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook until the anchovies begin to dissolve into the oil. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the garlic, chilli, pine nuts and currants and cook for 2–3 minutes until the pine nuts begin to colour. Add the broccoli puree and enough pasta water to make a loose sauce. Bring to a simmer and season carefully as the anchovies are salty. Add the pasta, parsley and reserved broccoli florets and toss to combine.
Divide pasta between bowls, drizzle with olive oil and scatter over the breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers.
Gordan Ramsay cereal bowls from Royal Doulton. Soho stemless wine glasses from Papaya. Marble bowl from White Home.