Rigatoni broccoli and pecorino cheese: tasty variation of the famous Apulian recipe


Rigatoni broccoli and pecorino cheese



Tempo:        preparation and cooking 20 min                    
Difficoltà:    easy
Dosi:            2 servings  
Costo:          low


Chef Nicola Delfino wanted to share with us this tasty recipe of rigatoni, broccoli and pecorino cheese which has the scent of culture and culinary tradition; as well as delighting the palate with a distinct flavor at a reduced cost, this plate allows us to obtain a considerable amount of high value nutrients. Chef Nicola’s method of processing, guarantees us to maintain at the maximum level broccoli’s vitamin and mineral content, as much as the bright colour which alone gives the diners a good mood. I recommend that the anchovies in the recipe should be coming from sustainable fishing with using artisanal methods from local and/or national fisheries.
Enjoy your meal and good revolution to all.


What we need to cook

1 pan
1 saucepan
1 blender, alternatively a minipimer



500 gr di broccoli siciliani
60 gr pecorino Romano or other local matured sheep cheese
Extravergine Olive Oil
2 small cloves of garlic
2 anchovy fillets
Salt and pepper
Chili pepper

This plate of rigatoni broccoli and pecorino cheese is a variation of the famous Apulian recipe of the “orecchiette con le cime – orecchiette pasta with broccoli rapes”.
It is a tasty dish, easy to prepare and very cheap.
We will use a few “restaurant” tricks to give it a gourmet taste and look. 

First we prepare the sauce:
the broccoli should be blanched in a little salted water for a few minutes, then they should be cooked in a pan and then blended, do not overcook them, you would lose color and nutritional properties unnecessarily.

Here’s the first trick: when you pull them out of cooking water, dip them for a few seconds in a mix of ice and water. We’ll get 2 immediate results: we’ll stop the cooking with this ice shock and we’ll fix the colour, making them look so beautifully shiny.

Second trick: don’t throw away the cooking water!

Now, cut them roughly with a knife, taking care to choose some florets and keep them aside. Put the vegetables in a pan with a little extra vergine olive oil, garlic, chilli pepper, salt, pepper and a couple of anchovy fillets in oil. I recommend only a little salt: we will complete the dish with pecorino cheese, which is already very salty. Mix the vegetables when still hot, with some of their cooking water that you have kept aside, until you get a thick and creamy sauce. It’s time to put the pasta in the saucepan where broccoli’s cooking water is boiling. Drain the pasta still “al dente” and sauté it in the pan with a drizzle of oil and a generous amount of green cream. Remove the pan from the oven when it is cooked, add a little pecorino romano cheese and keep stirring until you obtain a creamy density, which in Italy they call mantecare. Now you are ready to put your pasta in dishes; serve, eat and please let me know if you liked it.

In the picture, I garnish the dish with a pecorino cheese froth (foam) made with cheese, hot water and a little cream (but it is not essential for the success of the dish).

P.S. When you prepare it, do a little more of this, put the sauce in a jar and freeze it.



Nicola Delfino class ‘74
Executive chef by profession, captain by passion
He left the world of professional catering to experience the sea 
Now for most of the year he is chef and captain of a gulet that cruises between Greece and Turkey
Unruly disciple of Başak and her husband Giampaolo 





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