Purple sprouting broccoli with ricotta and orzo

Purple sprouting broccoli with ricotta and orzo

By
From
On the side
Serves
4-6
Cooking time
30 mins
Photographer
Joe Woodhouse

There is deliberately more broccoli than pasta here (hence its presence in the greens chapter); the orzo is there to add a little texture and a certain silkiness. In just one mouthful you get warming broccoli and tarragon, cold, creamy and refreshing ricotta and lemon, and then the buzz of a little red chilli. Things like chicken and chargrilled fatty lamb chops and cutlets are particular fans.

I like to cook purple sprouting broccoli until it’s just a little floppy; it takes on aromatics better and is particularly satisfying to eat like this. You could easily use classic or tenderstem broccoli if you can’t get hold of the purple stuff.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g purple sprouting broccoli
80g orzo pasta
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8-10 stems tarragon, leaves only, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 small, mild red chilli, finely chopped
60-80g ricotta
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Trim any woody ends off the broccoli stems. Cut the leaves from the stalks and any little florets branching from the main stalk (these cook more quickly and will be added to the pan later).
  2. Bring a large pan of heavily salted water to the boil. Add the orzo and cook at a gentle simmer for the time stated on the packet. (The broccoli will be cooked in the same water, so you need far more than normal for this quantity of pasta.)
  3. With 6 minutes remaining on the orzo cooking time, add the main broccoli stems to the pasta water. Throw in the small florets 3 minutes later, and 1 minute later add the sliced garlic and any leaves.
  4. Drain the broccoli and orzo thoroughly, then return them to the pan. Add the oil, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, chilli, lots of black pepper and a good pinch of salt. Gently toss so that the pasta and sprouting is well coated, check for seasoning, then decant to a serving dish. Dot teaspoons of ricotta in and around the broccoli and allow it to melt just a little before serving.

Alongside

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 Roast Romano peppers
1 Quick romesco
1 smoky ratatouille
1 Portobello mushrooms baked with oregano
1 Maple and pecan roast squash

Method

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