When cruciferous veggies were created, I think pasta was really what they had in mind as a go-to accompanier. This pasta, with its garlicky broccoli bits is super tasty, and it's one of those dishes you can make while you are doing a handful of others things (read: making lunches and getting ready for the next day, like most weeknight meals). I like to make this while the boys are making their lunches, sharing bits about the day we all had, spending some time together.
Now, I know initially you're not going to be happy about the idea of anchovies. I know! But listen: you won't get the fishy taste, I promise. Instead, the anchovies melt into this sort of extra undefinable umami-yumminess that will really just make you want bite after bite.
Skillet Broccoli Spaghetti
Yield: 5 servings
3 T olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly slices
2 pounds broccoli
1 T anchovy paste (or 3 - 4 anchovy filets)
16 ounces spaghetti (or another pasta that cooks in 10 minutes; feel free to break the pasta into shorter segments if you'd like)
½ teaspoon red-pepper or Aleppo flakes
Zest of one lemon
Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)
In a large (12-inch) skillet with high sides (or a dutch oven), add the oil and sliced garlic. Cut the florets off the broccoli, keeping as much of the branch connected to the trunk as possible.Cut the trunk and branches into 1/2-inch pieces, peeling the stems if they are tougher. Transfer to the skillet. Save the florets aside for a few minutes.
Heat the skillet to medium-high heat and add anchovy paste. Cook, smashing and stirring, until the garlic and broccoli stems are softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the florets so even the biggest pieces fit on a soup spoon.
Add the spaghetti, the florets and any broccoli bits on the board, 2 teaspoons salt and the red-pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Slowly, add 6 cups water, stirring well. Bring to a boil over high, then cook, tossing often with tongs, until the spaghetti is al dente, 8 to 12 minutes. If the pasta is looking dry, add more water. Once the water has been mostly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, add zest and stir well.
Serve with grated Parmesan, if using. Enjoy!