The region my husbands is from is called Bari in Italy and it is known for their ear shaped pasta called orecchiette, where nonna's sit in the lane ways selling their handmade version to the locals. This pasta is commonly made with sausage and broccoli, but the garlic lover Arab in me got thinking... what if I could make some sort of creamy garlicy broccoli sauce to fold those gorgeous little ears in and I totally did. I roasted a whole garlic bulb and blanched a couple of broccoli's before blending them together in a somewhat pesto inspired mix of pine nuts, lemon juice, grated parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, parsley S&P until smooth and creamy. I then folded the orecchiette in this sauce and served it with some extra pine nuts and parmesan. You can also make this sauce ahead of time and keep in the freezer to have on stand by for those busy weeknights. Sorry to the nonnas who would hate on this but I promise it taste bloody beautiful.
500g orecchiette pasta
1 whole garlic bulb
3 cups broccoli roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup EVOO
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Pre heat oven at 200C fan forced. Slice tip of whole garlic bulb and place in some foil, drizzle some EVOO and fold foil over so that the whole garlic is covered. Place on a baking tray and bake for approximately 45minutes, or until garlic is soft.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch broccoli for 10minutes or until soft, strain brocoli but keep the water to cook your pasta aside. Place broccoli in a food processor with lemon juice, pine nuts, parmesan, EVOO, parsley and garlic that you have oozed out of the peel. Process until smooth.
3. Cook pasta in the same pot of water you blanched the broccoli in as per packet instructions. Strain and fold through sauce.
Serve with extra grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts if you desire.
You can also make this sauce ahead of time and keep in an airtight container/jar the freezer to have on stand by for those busy weeknights.