Monday, 3 June 2013

Little Brother Arthur does Locatelli

Since going to Florence for a history of art course, our little brother Arthur had become quite the pasta aficionado. I have recently had the pleasure of coming home to find the most perfectly al dente pasta with various sauces from Locatelli's Made in Italy, which allow a single ingredient to sing, usually through what might seem an excessive amount of olive oil. But this really is the trick to those delicious sauces that coat the pasta, rather than slide off it because they are too watery.

The original recipe uses turnip tops which no normal household has to hand but suggests the substitution of broccoli  which works perfectly and are what we use. The little verdant, irony fluerettes provide a wonderful base for the vibrant chilli and garlic and the Oricciette, literally meaning little ears, cup the sauce beautifully. Geometry of pasta recommends using fresh ones but I think the De Cecco ones are still delicious.

Here is Locatelli's Recipe with broccoli

Serves 4
400g dried Orecchiette pasta

3 small bunches of turnip tops or broccoli
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 medium red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
400g dried orecchiette
2 anchovy fillets
Salt and pepper

Take the leaves and florets of the turnip tops or broccoli from their stalks and blanch them in boiling salted water for about a minute. Drain and squeeze to remove the excess water. Chop very finely.
Warm half the olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the garlic and chilli, and gently cook without allowing them to colour. Then add the turnip tops and toss around. Add another tablespoon of olive oil.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it, put in the orecchiette and cook for about a minute less than the time given on the packet, until al dente.

Ladle a little of the pasta cooking water into the other pan. Then turn down the heat and add the anchovies. Let them dissolve, without frying them, stirring all the time. Taste and season if necessary .
When the pasta is cooked, drain, and add the pasta to the pan containing the sauce. Toss around for 2-3 minutes, so that the turnip tops cook a little more and begin to cling to the pasta. Add the rest of the olive oil, toss well to coat and serve.