My weekend in Venice opened my eyes to the magical elements of Europe. Italy, in particular is possibly the only European country where I have spent a proper holiday. My longest vacation was a week long break in Rome many years ago. The rest of my European expeditions, may it be Paris, Munich or Amsterdam were mere brief stop overs after long hours of couped up meetings in meeting rooms. When one stops being obsessed about what to buy and what to eat, the true beauty of the location sinks in – that was what happened in Venice. I am happy that I did not lug back a load of ‘stuff’ like the way I did from US – where mammoth sized malls and endless commercial shop fronts beckon wickedly. Venice was devoid of such devious shopping lots. Instead, in their place, were quaint little artisan shops which made me admire and contemplate. Of course, I did not leave the magical city without buying a thing or two. My biggest loot was 5 packets of dried pasta in various shapes and sizes….
The pasta collection available in Singapore is achingly boring. The standard collection being the Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, the occasional Angel Hair, the macaroni and the odd fusilli here and there. In addition, it is impossible to get whole wheat pasta in forms other than the spaghetti. Hence, my delight when I came across this Fusilli Bucati shaped to look like the cutest cork screw made from whole wheat flour and barley flour – something which I can cook for my diabetic mother.
This is a healthy and simple recipe that is effortless to prepare. For those who dislike broccoli, this is one preparation which will have you forget that you are actually eating broccoli. The umami of the anchovies filets transformed this otherwise green and bland dish into a flavourful wholesome treat.
For those who likes a little heat in their pasta, you can also add in a few slivers of birds eye chilies to perk up the dish.
To be quite truthful, I am not too fond of the texture of the barley flour fusilli. It felt a little too doughy – I believe I would like this dish better with normal pasta.
- Fusilli Pasta 160g
- Broccoli ½ stem
- Anchovy filet in oil 2 filets
- Crushed garlic 2 tsp
- Olive oil 1 tbsp
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Cook fusilli in salted water according to instructions on the packet. Strain and set aside. Reserve some pasta water for sauce.
- Steam broccoli for 3 mins over boiling water. Cool down and pulse with food processor until just crushed.
- In a frying pan, heat olive oil and fry garlic until fragrant. Add anchovy filets and continue frying for 30 seconds.
- Add crushed broccoli. Add a little pasta water if sauce becomes too dry.
- Add strained fusilli from (1). Stir fry for 1 min. Season with salt and pepper.
- Dish and serve immediately.