Spaghetti with slow-cooked cauliflower & broccoli

by Ray McVinnie | Cuisine issue #128
Serves: 4-6While I love the flavour and the crisp texture of stir-fried or lightly steamed cauliflower and broccoli, I also like these vegetables cooked slowly in the Italian manner so they are soft and melting.

They go particularly well with the sour and salty flavours of anchovies, preserved lemons and olives, and this combination is great stirred through pasta with a good dusting of Italian parmesan.

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
350g each cauliflower and broccoli florets
10 anchovy fillets, halved
peel of 1 preserved lemon, finely diced
1 cup good-quality pitted black olives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g Italian dried spaghetti
Italian parmesan to serve

Put the olive oil into a large saucepan and add the garlic, cauliflower, broccoli and 1/2 cup water.

Place on moderate heat and cover. When you hear it start to fry, turn the heat down to low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and collapsing.

Remove from the heat, uncover and add the anchovies, lemon and olives. Mix gently, taste and season.

While the vegetables are cooking, add the spaghetti to a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Remove from the heat and drain well. Add the vegetable mixture to the pasta, mix gently but well and serve drizzled with a little more oil and well dusted with fresh finely grated parmesan.


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