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Broccotelli

May 5, 2010

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Serves 6

It’s still an event when my mother, Kathy, makes “broccotelli,’’ a made-up name for ricotta-filled cavatelli served with broccoli. First she cooks broccoli florets in water, then uses the water to cook the pasta “just until it floats.’’ It’s elegant, smart, and never fails to impress — like the cook herself.

Salt, to taste
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1 pound frozen ricotta cavatelli (available at most supermarkets)
5 anchovy fillets, soaked in milk for 10 minutes and drained
1/4 cup top-quality olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper, or to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until it is tender but still bright green.

2. With a slotted spoon transfer the broccoli to a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and chop the broccoli into 1/4-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Drop the cavatelli into the boiling water, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes (or according to package directions), just until the cavatelli float. Drain and add to the broccoli.

4. Roughly chop the anchovies. In a skillet heat the oil, garlic, anchovies, and red pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the anchovies disintegrate in the oil.

5. Pour the oil mixture over the pasta mixture and stir gently but thoroughly. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Ike DeLorenzo

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