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Orecchiette with broccoli, anchovies and homemade ricotta

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for orecchiette with broccoli, anchovies and homemade ricotta.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus standing, draining
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Broccoli and anchovies are a classic Italian combination. In this case we've mixed deeply caramelised broccoli with finely shaved raw broccoli for contrast - not traditional perhaps, but tasty nonetheless. We've opted to make our own ricotta - and love to use it still warm - but you could use a firm bought version instead.


  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 small head broccoli (about 300gm), florets thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 400 gm dried orecchiette
  • 40 gm finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra to serve
Homemade ricotta
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) Jersey milk (see note)
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) well-shaken buttermilk
  • 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • 1
    For homemade ricotta, bring milk, buttermilk, cream, lemon juice and 1 tsp sea salt to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until curds start to separate (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and stand until curds rise to the surface (about 15 minutes), then ladle into a muslin-lined sieve and set aside to drain. Refrigerate until required; this is best eaten on day of making.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add two-thirds of the broccoli and fry, stirring occasionally, until caramelised and very tender (10-15 minutes). Stir in anchovies, garlic, lemon rind and chilli flakes, cook until fragrant (1 minute), then set aside.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-12 minutes), then drain and return pasta along with 1-2 tbsp pasta water to the pan. Add broccoli mixture, lemon juice to taste and remaining broccoli, toss to combine, season to taste and serve topped with dollops of homemade ricotta.


Note Jersey milk is available from select delicatessens; if it's unavailable, substitute milk from a good organic producer.
Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied fiano. Drink suggestion by Max Allen