Travel at home — easy-to-make Italian penne with broccoli
‘Travel at home and cook’ is a new series that brings travel to you through our love of food.
Many of the dishes will be Italian based, given our connection to the Mediterranean country.
Italian food heaven
I’m very lucky that when we leave Italy to return home to London, our memories don’t stop there.
Our household is one where Italian food rules supreme. From quick and easy pasta dishes to traditional Sicilian meals, it’s safe to say that we eat very well.
So, if you’re looking for easy-to-make Italian dishes that don’t scrimp on flavor, keep on reading. This simple, yet filling, penne with broccoli dish is authentic, and is super easy to make.
You’re also already likely to have these ingredients in your cupboard, so it’s a resourceful recipe too.
Whether you’re a beginner, amateur or experienced cook, I’m 100% certain that your household will enjoy this.
Ingredients for penne broccoli
- 1 clove of garlic (whole)
- Olive oil (the best quality you can afford)
- 1 medium-size broccoli
- Penne pasta (80g per person)
- 2 anchovy fillets
- Parmesan cheese
This recipe is enough for 2 to 3 people.
One of the star ingredients, penne pasta — penne broccoli
How to make Italian penne with broccoli
Begin by boiling some water in a deep pot for the broccoli. Don’t forget to add some salt; 1tbsp should be enough.
Separate the broccoli into bite-sized florets. This makes them quicker to cook and also easier to eat. Add to the boiling water.
While the broccoli’s boiling, heat some olive oil in a pan, and add 1 clove of garlic. We like to keep ours whole, rather than finely chop it, but this is up to you.
Break up the broccoli into small florets
A word on the oil — penne broccoli
The benefits of a good quality olive oil — and a Mediterranean diet — are well known. At home, we use an excellent and flavorful olive oil imported from Sicily for all of our cooking.
Its deep green yellow color, intense aroma and rich consistency lets you know that it’s a good oil.
Above all, a good olive oil makes a world of difference to a dish. It can turn something simple into something spectacular.
It’s also the reason why so many simple Mediterranean dishes taste so good.
That said, if you want to invest in anything for your kitchen, get yourself a good olive oil.
A good quality olive oil makes a world of difference — penne broccoli
Finely slice 2 anchovy fillets and add them to the olive oil and garlic. Cook the anchovies until they almost melt into the sizzling olive oil.
I should add, that if you really can’t stand anchovies, leave them out.
After about 10 minutes, drain the broccoli and add it to the oil with the garlic and anchovies. Add your penne to the salted boiling water that you used for the broccoli.
If you’ve some orrechiette (little ears) pasta at home, it’s actually a better pairing. However, most of us always have penne in the pantry, which is why I decided to go with this.
Buon appetito. The simple, yet super delicious penne with broccoli
The last steps
While the penne’s cooking, use a spatula to gently mash some of the broccoli florets. This helps to create a creamy texture. Make sure that you also leave some whole for texture and bite.
Add half a ladle of water from the pasta to the pan, or a whole one depending on whether it needs more.
Once the penne’s ready, drain it into a colander. Be sure to save some of the water in case you need it for later.
Flip it and mix it — penne broccoli
Finally, add the penne into the pan with broccoli and anchovies, and flip to mix all ingredients together.
If you see that the dish is a little dry, add some more water from what you saved from earlier.
Turn off the heat and grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top. Flip several times to coat the pasta and broccoli and serve immediately.
How would you rate this recipe? Is it something that your family would enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy eating x
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Bookings For You. It may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.
Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience, a demographic (late 20s onward) that enjoys glamping over camping and staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels. Flashpackers also like to indulge in the local food and wine, cultural activities, as well as a spot of wellness on their travels. Want to know more? Read on....