This is one of those dishes that can stand as the main course, served with a nice loaf or a cup of soup. It's also a pasta dish that doesn't get masked by so different sauces and creams to where the pasta itself just becomes a filler. 

The recipe [rigatoni con broccoli all'acciuga], from La Cucina Italiana, November 2013, called for rigatoni, but I used penne instead, since I had it in the pantry already. After making this, I was convinced that a fresh pasta would have been better. And while it was exciting to use anchovies in a recipe, the recipe did not call for enough. I would add another three fillets the next time I make this. 

Rigatoni + Broccoli + Anchovy

Rigatoni + Broccoli + Anchovy

This is a hearty meal with light flavors. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


  • 6 cups small broccoli florets, about 1 1/2 lb
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3 flat anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinsed again
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook broccoli until tender, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl. Return water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente. 
  2. Meanwhile, coarsely chop together anchovies, garlic and capers; add to bowl with broccoli. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat; add broccoli mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  3. Reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta; transfer to a large serving bowl. Add broccoli mixture, pasta cooking liquid, remaining tablespoon oil and parsley. Toss to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately with cheese on top.