This recipe is incredibly versatile – use it to top pasta, pizza or crostini. The long cooking melds everything together and the resulting “sauce” tastes rich, mellow and nothing at all like blanched broccoli. You can add drained canned white beans, flaked canned tuna and/or dried chili flakes to taste. If you’re serving this on pasta, simmer it for less time so it’s a bit more “wet” and serve it with tons of grated pecorino. 

5 cups





Skill level

Average: 3.7 (42 votes)


  • 900 g broccoli
  • 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
  • 12 anchovies, chopped
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) lemon juice
  • 600 ml water
  • 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Cook's notes

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.


Trim the lower 1-2 cm from the base of the broccoli stems and trim off any brown bits from the stems. Cut the broccoli, including the stems and any leaves, into very small pieces and place in a large saucepan. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover, then cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until the broccoli is very soft. Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes or until the liquid has nearly all reduced. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper then cool to room temperature.



• To make broccoli crostini, preheat the oven to 180C. Cut a 350 g loaf of ciabatta bread into 5 mm-thick slices; if slices are large, cut each slice in half widthways. Place in a single layer on baking paper-lined oven trays then brush each slice with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden. Spoon some of the broccoli onto each toast, top with shaved pecorino and then serve. You will use about half the cooked broccoli with one loaf of bread; the rest can be frozen for later use.


Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel. 


This recipe is part of our 10 ways with anchovies column. View previous 10 ways with… columns and recipes.