Why This Recipe Works
- Searing half of the broccoli till effectively browned, and gently sweating the remaining broccoli till simply tender highlights the vary in taste this straightforward ingredient can obtain.
- Turmeric provides a vibrant hue to the ultimate sauce whereas additionally imparting a welcome earthy observe.
An ideal pasta dish is all in regards to the profitable pairing of textures and flavors. After I’m creating a pasta recipe, I attempt to concentrate on one or two fundamental substances, with a number of different elements to drag all of it collectively. Such is the story of this simple dinner: It’s based mostly on the basic duo of broccoli and orecchiette, however right here, they’re certain collectively by a creamy sauce that’s tinted with turmeric and completed with the buttery crunch of hazelnuts.
The standard broccoli-based sauce for orecchiette is straightforward in preparation and taste. It’s made by first boiling the broccoli, then cooking it additional in olive oil with primary aromatics like garlic, till it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. Whereas that is scrumptious in its personal proper, with this recipe I needed one thing extra advanced tasting. As a substitute of boiling the broccoli, I selected to sear half of it in a Dutch oven, permitting the Maillard reaction—a sequence of chemical reactions that occur when sugars and proteins are uncovered to excessive warmth—to deliver out the vegetable’s pure bittersweet flavors. Like most members of the Brassica household, broccoli takes to excessive warmth somewhat effectively. A fast sear to crisp and brown the outside is a straightforward and foolproof method to develop deeper, sweeter taste. The broccoli takes on outstanding notes of smokiness and bittersweet flavors, making it a pure pairing with nearly every part: creamy dairy, spices (like earthy turmeric), and crunchy hazelnuts.
The remaining broccoli goes in after, turning into candy and tender because it cooks down with the garlic, pink pepper flakes, heavy cream, and turmeric, which lends the sauce a pleasing earthiness and vivid hue.
This broccoli pasta is a straightforward recipe that comes collectively shortly, and it’s a superb candidate for riffing on, too. There’s actually no proper or incorrect method to go about it. I typically use it as a car for any leftover substances from the pantry or fridge, tossing in a handful of peas, roasted greens, or contemporary herbs. Use this recipe as a springboard for creativity, and also you’ll by no means have a boring pasta dinner ever once more.
Orecchiette With Broccoli and Toasted Hazelnuts
On this simple weeknight dinner, the basic pairing of orecchiette and broccoli will get a twist with a creamy turmeric sauce and crunchy toasted hazelnuts.
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 kilos (680g) broccoli (about 2 massive heads), florets reduce into roughly 1-inch items, thick stems reserved for another use
- Kosher salt
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch pink pepper flakes
- 1 cup (237ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 pound (454g) orecchiette pasta
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 ounce; 28g), plus extra for serving
- 1/2 cup toasted blanched hazelnuts (2 1/2 ounces; 70g), coarsely chopped
In a medium Dutch oven or massive sauté pan, warmth oil over excessive warmth till simply smoking. Add half the broccoli, season calmly with salt, and prepare dinner, stirring sometimes, till effectively browned on at the very least one aspect, about 5 minutes. Decrease warmth to medium-low, stir in remaining broccoli, and season calmly with salt. Stir in garlic and pink pepper flakes and prepare dinner till garlic is aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add heavy cream together with 1 cup (240ml) water and the turmeric, deliver to a simmer over medium-high warmth. Cowl and prepare dinner till broccoli may be very tender, about 10 minutes. Take away from warmth.
In the meantime, deliver a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add orecchiette and prepare dinner till simply shy of al dente (1 to 2 minutes fewer than bundle instructions). Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta water.
Add orecchiette to pasta sauce and prepare dinner over medium-high warmth, stirring continuously, till pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, however continues to be liquid sufficient to pool within the backside of the pot, about 2 minutes. Add extra water, in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as wanted, to realize desired consistency (consider, it’s going to thicken much more as soon as cheese is stirred in).
Take away from warmth, add Parmigiano-Reggiano, and stir vigorously to include. Season with salt to style. Divide between warmed serving bowls, topping every portion with toasted hazelnuts and extra grated cheese. Serve instantly.
Blanched hazelnuts have had their skins eliminated. Hazelnut skins can lend dishes an disagreeable bitter taste. In the event you can’t discover blanched nuts, you may toast the hazelnuts in an oven preheated to 325ºF (160ºC) for a number of minutes, then wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub them collectively till the skins come off.