I don’t recall ever trying one of Emeril’s recipes before. I could be wrong, but I know I don’t have any of his cookbooks, and I just can’t think of one that I’ve tried. This recipe came from Everyday Food magazine, which you know I love.
Anyway, it’s a great, easy recipe, and you likely have almost everything you need in your pantry. All I had to buy was fresh broccoli and I happened to be out of sausage. That’s it! I will be looking more closely at Emeril’s recipes too after this one…
It has a secret ingredient, which I haven’t told anyone about, because people have such strong feelings about it. We’ve made it two or three times already! I took a batch of this pasta to a Boy Scout banquet last week, and more than one person liked it. A friend of ours even asked for the recipe, which I planned on posting here regardless.
We LOVE it. At least Number One and I do. H-Bomb picks out the sausage, Sawed Off picks out the broccoli, they trade and everyone is happy!
The text in the magazine says, “Anchovies are the secret ingredient in this dish. They give it a deep, savory flavor without a bit of fishiness, so if you’re tempted to skip them, don’t.” I agree, DON’T. I have actually used an entire tin in one batch of the pasta, although for the banquet I stuck to the 4 fillets. The first time you make this, unless you’re a huge fan of those little fishes, you should probably use 4 fillets. But a whole tin is delicious too!
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound pasta (Emeril uses rigatoni, we’ve used penne, farfalle, etc.)
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 pound Italian sausage (I just use a package of Jimmy Dean’s Italian)
Parmesan, grated, for serving
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. In last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp-tender. (just cook for the 2 minutes) Carefully reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and broccoli.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Add sausage to empty pasta pot and cook over medium-high, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and coked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, return pasta and broccoli to pot, and add oil mixture. Toss well to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta (I usually end up using about 1/2 cup water). Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.