I had to get this recipe onto the blog quickly because the season for sprouting broccoli will be coming to an end soon, although you could substitute it for ‘normal’ broccoli (really called Calabrese) or even that stuff called ‘tender-stem broccoli’ you find in the supermarkets. Actually many brassica plants would be good here, perhaps savoy cabbage or kale?
This isn’t really a recipe, more of a suggestion, and I often think it’s absurd to give quantities for pasta because everyone cooks and eats different quantities. We eat mountains of the stuff in our house – others are likely more reserved.
So while your pasta is cooking (I used penne) fry some pieces of pancetta in a deep frying pan until they begin to turn golden, then add a few garlic cloves cut into very thin slices and cook for a few more minutes. Five minutes before your pasta is ready add you broccoli to the boiling water (saves space and washing up), then drain.
To the frying pan add a few tablespoons of crème fraiche and a good handful of finely grated parmesan. Throw in the pasta and broccoli and perhaps some of the pasta cooking water to make a nice sauce. Season with plenty of black pepper and serve in bowls with more parmesan to sprinkle on top if necessary.
This dish is light, but smooth and creamy and speaks of the season. None of the flavours over-power the delicious sweet purple-sprouting broccoli – which is what this dish celebrates.