Scrounging in the ‘fridge last night trying to use up left-over food, there were some mushrooms left-over from the Hot and Sour Soup I had made a while back. Also some baby broccoli from a pasta and broccoli dish. I searched the inter-web and found a recipe from NYT Cooking that sounded good, but in the comments there were complaints about it being bland tasting. Suggestions were made to add anchovies, cream etc. So I ran down to the store and bought some heavy cream and a can of anchovies. Well I can tell you this turned out to be outstanding. Laura raved about it. So I suggest you try making it. Once again you can get the baby broccoli at Trader Joe’s. Happy eating!
Pasta with Mushrooms and Broccoli
1 package baby broccoli
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick
1 can anchovies
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
8 ounces spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan
1. Trim baby broccoli into bite-sized pieces about one inch in size. Separate stems from crowns.
2. Begin heating a large pot of well-salted water for the pasta. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add 4 or 5 anchovies and mash with a spoon to a paste. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until lightly colored and beginning to sweat, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add salt and pepper to taste, another tablespoon of oil and butter, and broccoli stems. Continue to sauté until the broccoli stems are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until garlic smells fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from heat.
3. When water in the pasta pot comes to a boil, add spaghetti. Set timer for 2 minutes less than the cooking time suggested on the package. When it goes off, add thinly sliced broccoli crowns and cook 2 minutes more, or until the pasta is al dente. Using a ladle or a spider, transfer 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan with the mushrooms and shaved broccoli stems. Drain the pasta and broccoli and toss with the mushroom and stem mixture right in the pan. Add 4 or 5 tablespoons of heavy cream and heat until bubbly. Serve with Parmesan cheese and a grind of black pepper.