Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let them eat....Broccol with anchovy, chilli and garlic

This is a goddam match made in heaven. I made it recently with my new lover Bombardino DeCecco. I accidently overcooked the broccoli quite savagely but it was just for my lunch so I pretended I hadnt and continued. The result was an absolute revelation - soft, silken, smooth. I am always cooking this dish this way from now on. Its nice really cos I think this whole "all vegetables have to be cooked al dente" is a crock. Some vegetables are suited, some are not. Some are versitile. Some are not. Someone once served me al dente asparagus. AL DENTE ASPARAGUS?!?!?!? I mean, Jesus Christ, where's it going to end?

Anyway the staff had a version of the Italian classic of anchovy, broccoli, chilli and garlic but instead of it being with pasta I made it into a soup with white beans playing the part of the pasta. Excellent. I also made bread croutons and some polenta croutons tossed in grated parmesan and baked. Really really good. 

Method? Like this darling, like this:

Good amount of olive oil

6 teeth garlic

4 dynamite chillis (tiny little killer ones)

1 big Spanish onion

8 anchovies in olive oil



500g cooked cannelini beans and their licor


1 good head of broccoli - cut into fleurettes and the stalk peeled and chopped

Put heavy bottomed pan on a low heat and flavour oil with 2 crumbled chillis and 3 garlic cloves half crushed under the flat of a knife. Discard chilli if blackened and mash up the now golden garlic. 

Sweat chopped onion in the flavoured oil with lid on. About 20 minutes later put the golden garlic back in with along with the rest of the chopped garlic, the 2 other chillis and the anchovies and their oil. Some bay and rosemary would be nice too. Sweat that mother good. For as long as you are able. 

Add cannelini beans and the licor they were cooked in with some extra stock.

Bring to the boil and add the broccoli .

Boil till broccoli is just past al dente. Remove, liquidise and replace one third.

Season, sprinkle with parsley and croutons and then do a faggoty chef swirl of olive oil at the end to make it look nice.