What I love about this pasta is how much green there is on the plate—an almost equal amount of broccoli and starch. I eat so much pasta and I’m terribly fond of recipes that use a minimal number of ingredients, just enough sauce to coat the noodles. But sometimes that leaves me feeling over-starched.
I’m amazed this recipe has never crossed my path before. It’s wonderful, simple, and delicious and seems to be relatively common. The anchovies give it depth of flavor (not at all fishy), while the dried red chiles (or red pepper flakes) give it just a hint of heat to keep things interesting.
I made something similar awhile back with cauliflower and orecchiette, but prefer this recipe for its lightness. It leaves the broccoli minimally cooked and just barely al dente like the pasta, keeping things fresh. Broccoli rabe would make a great substitute as well if you don’t mind the bitterness.