Pasta with broccoli, anchovy, garlic and hot pepper – my version of orecchiette con cime di rapa

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After drooling over Italian recipes of orecchiette and cime di rapa (broccoli rabe) I was craving it and wanted to have it today! So I made do with what I can get here which is regular broccoli and fusilli pasta. I am not going to spend 4 dollars on a tiny bunch of broccoli rabe of which I would need 4! I even used Manchego cheese instead of Parmigiano and it was great!

Fusilli with broccoli,anchovy, garlic, hot pepper and evoo (extra virgin olive oil)

1 lb broccoli crowns
2-4 anchovies or to taste
2 garlic cloves squashed
1 dried hot pepper (stem cut off) or a pinch of red pepper flakes
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
half pound fusilli pasta
1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese

boil broccoli in salted water for about 4 -5 minutes until tender.
Remove with a slotted spoon and cook the pasta in the same water until very al dente- 2 minutes less than package says usually. It will continue to cook and It also gets cooked more in the skillet.
in a skillet heat the evoo until hot, add the whole garlic, anchovies and hot pepper.
stir and squish the anchovies until they melt into the sauce.
Add the cooked broccoli and stir until well combined.
Taste for saltiness and adjust if needed- if anchovies were used you won’t need salt.
Add the cooked pasta and stir, adding pasta water if it dries up.
alternate adding the grated cheese with pasta water until you have a nice creamy sauce.
serve immediately with more cheese if desired
buon appetito!

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