This is a fine example on how minimal ingredients can yield a great result. This dish, typical of the Puglia region of Italy is very familiar to so many of you here in the United States. The "Andy Boy" variety out of California, is the variety of choice.
Don't be intimidated by the anchovy. You may use anchovy paste if you like however you will not get the best result as the paste breaks down a little two quickly. Buy some good anchovies from Portugal. They are inexpensive and last once they are opened. The anchovy adds great flavor and disintegrates into the hot olive oil.
I came across this special pasta (little Harmonica shapes), from Puglia in a speciality food store here locally on sale. For under $15 for the entire dish, a little goes a long way.
12 oz of dry pasta of your choice. (Spaghetti, Penne, etc)
1lb plus 1/2 lb of Andy Boy Broccoli (Broccoli rabe)
4 anchovy fillets (small) under oil
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic chopped
I tablespoon of salt for your water
1 pasta pot filled with 6 quarts of water.
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Put a 6 quarts of water in a pasta pot to boil. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
Clean your Broccoli and drain.
Add your baking soda (addition of baking soda in your greens will help them remain bright green after they are cooked).
Boil for 10-12 minutes from the time your water comes back to a boil.
Remove your Broccoli from the water. Reserve your water in the pot. You will be using this water to cook your pasta later. Add more water if necessary right to the pot.
In a large skillet, heat your olive oil. Add your garlic and after 10 seconds add your anchovy fillets.
Your heat should be turned down some since the anchovy will sizzle when it hits the pan. Slowly turn your heat up to medium and your anchovy will disintegrate into the oil, creating a lovely, fragrant aroma. At this point add your drained Broccoli. Be careful as it hits the pan. Saute until all of your liquid has evaporated and your Broccoli has not quite stuck to the pan. Set aside.
Bring your water from which you cooked your Broccoli back to a boil. There is no need to add anything. Cook your pasta until al dente. Drain your pasta. Toss and serve. Add more salt if you wish. Buon Appetito