A very simple pasta dish with purple sprouting broccoli plus broad beans and celeriac

March 25, 2012

purple sprouting broccoli

This week a variety that takes us out of  winter eating and towards lighter summer fare – purple sprouting broccoli. It’s a variety that says yes, the seasons are changing you will not have to think about new ways to deal with root vegetables forever. Yay!  Summer is on the way.

So what is it? Well, it’s broccoli but better. More delicate and refined plus it’s a gorgeous purpley-green colour. Actually you also have the regular kind in your bag this week too. I only got the call about the sprouting kind at the last minute. Usually I have to stalk suppliers for weeks on end for it so I couldn’t say no.

As always with this type of thing simplicity is the way forward. Going fancy just misses the point. Steamed and tossed in butter or olive oil with maybe a spritz of lemon is a great place to start. With a bowl of quinoa this makes a beautifully simple lunch.

A little sautéed garlic, chilli maybe some tangy Parmesan or Pecorino are also good foils. Add some pasta and you’ve got one of those gorgeously understated dishes which, baby Lee permitting I’ll be making (or bullying someone else into doing it for me) this evening. Orecchiette (literally babies ears) from Puglia would be my pasta of choice for this kind of dish but it’s up to you. Unless you stop to feed a baby about 10 times this will be ready in ten…..

purple sprouting broccoli with orechetti

Purple sprouting broccoli with garlic and chilli (for 2 or 3 at a push)

You’ll need:

About 250gr purple sprouting broccoli

5 cloves garlic chopped

1  fresh red chilli with or without the seeds, finely chopped

Pecorino cheese or Parmesan if you don’t have Pecorino

Orecchiette pasta

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

trimmed purple sprouting broccoli

Put the kettle on for the pasta and sort through the broccoli trimming the tougher stalks. You don’t need to cut it unless stems are really big. Place in a steamer until tender but not soft then remove and set aside.

While the broccoli is steaming put on the pasta. Heat a generous glug of olive oil on a pan and gently sweat the garlic and chilli until soft. Add the broccoli and toss everything together.

chilli and garlic in the pan

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the pan mixing everything together. Add salt, lots of black pepper, some grated cheese and a generous drizzle of your best olive oil. Serve with more cheese and eat immediately

Early broad beans are another sign of summer. They are another variety that cry out for a simple approach. The recipe above can easily be made with them but they are also great in salads. Check out my recipes for a warm salad with Serrano ham or with star-anise infused cous cous with blood orange (they’ll be gone soon so look smart!) and feta.

In case you were wondering…….

The gnarly beast in your bag is celariac. Like all roots it can be boiled, mashed and roasted. It also makes great soup. I’ll be having it crushed with potatoes topped with crispy onions and fresh green chili – yum!

Rhubarb is now in season!!!

We’ll be getting some in from Wicklow next week.If you’d like a bunch give us a shout.It’ll be €2.75 a bunch. Get ready to crumble!

Have a great Sunday,


5 Responses to “A very simple pasta dish with purple sprouting broccoli plus broad beans and celeriac”

  1. Lee Lohan Says:

    This is delish 🙂 I would just throw the beans (steamed) in at the end too! So so good.

    Any clues as to what’s gonna be in this week’s bag? 🙂

  2. homeorganics Says:

    Well, I managed to secure more broccoli (yay!!!) aswell as rainbow chard from Denis Healy’s farm.Then there’s Oliver Kelly’s lovely beetroot, purslane, mushrooms and something else that completely slips my mind at the moment – baby not sleeping this week so I’m all but brain dead. Roll on the weekend!!

  3. Liz Says:

    Sounds gorgeous

  4. homeorganics Says:

    It’s officially a weed but apparently one of the most nutritious things you can eat 🙂

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