I've had a go at growing sprouting broccoli again this year in Dorset and the plants seem to be harvesting tiny spears at the moment which work rather nicely in a dish such as this.
This is a nice, summery pasta lunch from Puglia that is pretty quick to make. It traditionally uses regular broccoli, but I do like using the sprouting variety. If you want to be really flash you could use romanesco, which is an odd-looking green cauliflower with pointed florets.
240-250g orecchiette pasta or similar
250g sprouting broccoli, trimmed of any woody stem
5-6tbsp rapeseed oil
25g pine nuts, lightly toasted
25g raisins, soaked in boiling water for an hour
4 canned anchovy fillets, finely chopped
Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for a few minutes, until tender, then drain.
Remove the heads and cut down into smaller florets, if they are large, and thinly slice the stalks on the angle.
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water according to the instructions, then drain in a colander.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and rapeseed oil in a wide, heavy-based saucepan, add the hot broccoli, pine nuts, raisins and anchovies and toss it into the orecchiette; season with salt and pepper.
Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.
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