Pasta "Ro Malu Tempu"
This peasant dish from Sicily translates to “pasta when the weather is bad”. It is what fishermen made when the weather conditions didn't allow them to fish. Besides broccoli and pasta, it uses common ingredients found in every Sicilian kitchen such as pine nuts, raisins, bread crumbs, anchovies, and saffron.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons raisins
- 1(12 ounce) package rigatoni pasta
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4anchovies anchovy fillets
- 2tablespoons minced onion
- 1clove garlic, minced
- 1head broccoli, separated into florets
- 4threads saffron threads
- 2tablespoons pine nuts
- 1pinch ground cinnamon
- ¼cup toasted bread crumbs
- 1teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2tablespoons toasted bread crumbs
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Step 1Soak raisins in warm water for 10 minutes; drain and set aside.
Step 2Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook rigatoni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes.
Step 3At the same time, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly saute anchovies, onions, and garlic, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Mash the anchovies a bit to help them dissolve to create a paste. Add broccoli and begin to saute over medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning. Cook evenly until softened, about 10 minutes. Break up large florets as soon as they softens; ideally, you want bite-sized florets. Add ladles of the pasta water to the skillet as needed to keep the broccoli from burning.
Step 4Add a ladle of pasta water to a small bowl, add the saffron threads, and allow to melt. Add to the broccoli. Mash some of the smaller florets to help create a creamy sauce. Add the pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon. Stir often.
Step 5Drain cooked pasta, reserving the pasta water. Stir pasta into the skillet. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup bread crumbs and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat, adding a few tablespoons of pasta water if necessary. Drizzle remaining oil and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs over the top and add black pepper. Serve hot.