This traditional broccoli dish is believed to be one of the first to be made with broccoli when the Romans or possibly the Etruscans realised the flower heads on wild brassica plants had a delicate flavour, broccoli coming from the Italian word brocco = shoot. This dish is still traditional in the central provinces of Italy, especially around Rome.
- 2 litres water
- 1 kg broccoli, whole heads, hard stalks removed
- 450 ml broccoli cooking liquid
- 12 garlic cloves, crushed and mashed, chopped small
- 45 ml olive oil
- 30 g anchovies (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, for cooking water
- 15 ml wine vinegar (optional)
- 10 g salt
Bring a pot of salted water with one clove of garlic to the boil. Add broccoli pieces, cook for five minutes.
Drain, reserve liquid and keep warm.
Mash the broccoli. Put oil in a frying pan. Over a low heat sauté garlic with broccoli.
If using anchovies fry them with the garlic.
After 10 minutes add a splash of wine vinegar.
Loosen the mixture with a few ladles of the broccoli cooking liquid.
Serve with pasta, polenta or on its own.