“Conchiglie con Broccoli” from “The River Cafe Cook Book”

Kirstin: I chose this recipe because we’ve been away for the weekend and I wanted to cook something quickly from ingredients in the cupboard. I nearly had what I needed: I didn’t have salted anchovies, so I used tinned ones, even though the book says “tinned anchovies in oil are no substitute”. I used them anyway. It had cream and butter, and it’s a summer evening, so I thought it might be a bit heavy. But it was really good! I didn’t use all the anchovies — I used half the amount they said. 100g of anchovies sounded grim.

Tom: In the event the anchovies were quite subtle… a sort of distant saltiness.

Kirstin: I did think the cream was a bit much. And I don’t like those small, tiny bones you get in anchovies.

Tom: It wasn’t that rich, though. And it was more substantial than, say, spaghetti al limone.

Kirstin: But Cristiana has shown us a lovely way to cook pasta and broccoli, which involves garlic and chillis, but no anchovies, cream or butter. I prefer her recipe, though I can’t remember how to do it now. You have to mash up the broccoli — I remember that bit. Would I cook this one again? I might do. Even if I don’t have the right kind of anchovies.

Tom: Cristiana — we’ve lost that recipe! Help!

“Conchiglie con Broccoli” from “The River Cafe Cook Book”

9 thoughts on ““Conchiglie con Broccoli” from “The River Cafe Cook Book”

  1. Georgia says:

    Yum. Waitrose has those freshish anchovies that have a fridge life of about a hundred years FWIW. I would like to see the one with pasta and broccoli. My emergency food for the children is pasta, pancetta cubes (always in fridge), garlic, chopped chili and broccoli. As Ella would say, it makes for a “nutritionally balanced diet”!

  2. tomstandage says:

    When Ella says something can be eaten as part of a “nutritionally balanced diet” it usually means it’s something really bad for you. But if you eat enough good stuff to balance it, it’s OK.

  3. Georgia says:

    I just went and looked in my fridge. They are in oil, parsley and garlic…but you’d never know. You can blot them with kitchen paper. I would probably choose to use them over salted because salted kind of do my head in 🙂

  4. oops! hello there. I have just read this. I haven’t been very good at things since we’ve been back. Coming back from holidays is always a pain.
    My recipe has the same ingredients as Georgia’s (minus the bacon obviously), namely: pasta (I prefer orecchiette as per original Pugliese recipe), garlic, chilis and olive oil (the acronym in Italian foodie blogs is EVO, for extra-virgin- oil LOL). I just chop the broccoli in smallish bits, when the water boils (no salt, add it towards the end), chuck them in and, depending on the pasta’s cooking time, stick that in after a few minutes (my orecchiette usually take around 10 mins and I let the broccoli cook for 5-ish before adding them). In the meantime, chop the garlic finely (or leave it whole if you prefer to remove it at the end) and simmer in EVO 😉 with the chopped chili until done. When the pasta is al dente the broccoli should be just overdone. Strain and toss in frying pan with the garlic etc. Mix well on low heat (if any), mashing the larger chunks of broccoli with a wooden spoon. Done. Parmesan good but not essential. Yum.

    1. annastamour says:

      Cristiana, I love the fact that you have all these wonderful recipes that don’t involve loads of cream. I think the Carbonara recipe without cream that I have originally came from you…. Thank you!

      1. @ Kirstin: you should visit again sometime between October and April!
        @ Anna: it’s totally possible, as the original recipe doesn’t have cream. As a matter of fact cream is often considered taboo in foodie circles, but I do use it every now and then, as I find it a useful “binding” ingredient in many vegetarian and vegan (for the latter you need vegan cream of course) recipes.

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