Pasta with Anchovies and Broccoli (Orecchiette Alici e Broccoli)

This Southern Italian pasta dish has loads of flavor and texture: orecchiete pasta, broccoli, fresh anchovies, sundried tomatoes, crunchy sautéed breadcrumbs, chile pepper, and parsley. Those sautéed breadcrumbs are a good alternative for cheese (which is ‘forbidden’ on a pasta … Continue reading Pasta with Anchovies and Broccoli (Orecchiette Alici e Broccoli)

Sous-Vide Pork Belly Asian Style with Garlicky Broccoli

One of the things you can only do sous-vide is making tough meats tender while keeping them juicy and without cooking them ‘well done’. As I am a great fan of medium rare meat rather than well done, this is one of the reasons why so far, I’ve almost exclusively cooked sous-vide meats that way. The only exceptions have been duck leg confit sous-vide and pulled pork sous-vide. This means cooking meat sous-vide at temperatures between 55ºC/131ºF and 65ºC/149ºF, sometimes as long as 72 hours to allow the meat to become tender at such a relatively low cooking temperature.

Lately I’ve started to wonder about cooking meat sous-vide at higher temperatures. The meat will surely become well done and flaky, but I’m curious whether it is still better than a traditional braise on the stove top and in the oven. There is only one way to find out, and that is to try. The first experiment in this series is pork belly. Usually I cook pork belly sous-vide for 36 to 72 hours at 60ºC/140ºF, but in this case I tried it for 10 hours at 77ºC/170ºF. After that it was briefly crisped under the broiler. The inspiration for the recipe came from a post on Serious Eats. I thought it would be nice with broccoli stir-fried with garlic (inspired by REMCooks.com) and some rice, and that did indeed work well. Continue reading “Sous-Vide Pork Belly Asian Style with Garlicky Broccoli”

Pasta with Mussels, Roquefort and Broccoli

The second time I cooked in someone else’s kitchen because I couldn’t use mine, I went to my parents. (In the meantime the floor has been finished and I can use my kitchen again, and I have been so busy cooking to celebrate that I didn’t have time left to post — the posts from that cooking frenzy will follow soon.) As I was surprised how good mussels with roquefort turned out to be, I thought it’d be nice to share this with my parents as I know they love seafood. To turn it into a whole dish of Italian-French fusion, I made a combination of pasta with mussels and broccoli with the roquefort sauce. It was no surprise that it turned out nicely. If you like mussels and blue cheese, you have got to try the combination. It really works!

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Pasta with Broccoli (Orecchiette al Broccoli)

I make this pasta quite often, as it is tasty, healthy and quick to make. It is also convenient because the only fresh ingredient needed is broccoli, which keeps quite well in the refrigerator. It doesn’t take longer to make this than it takes to cook the pasta. Since the ‘sauce’ contains anchovies, Italians will generally not serve this with parmigiano as that would overpower the taste of the anchovies. If you do like to eat this with parmigiano or pecorino (which is also good) and you want to be authentic, leave out the anchovies. Or just make sure that … Continue reading Pasta with Broccoli (Orecchiette al Broccoli)

Pasta with mussels and broccoli (Orecchiette alle cozze e broccoli)

This is a simple but healthy and delicious pasta dish that we eat regularly. The combination of mussels and broccoli works very well, and the ‘juice’ that is left from cooking the mussels makes a very tasty sauce. Ingredients For 2 servings as a full meal or 4 servings in a larger menu 1 kg (2.2 lbs) mussels 500 grams (1 pound) broccoli 150-200 grams (1/3-1/2 pound) of flat short pasta such as orecchiette or farfalle 1 onion 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine 3 anchovy fillets 1 glove garlic dried chilli pepper extra virgin olive oil salt some … Continue reading Pasta with mussels and broccoli (Orecchiette alle cozze e broccoli)