This recipe is an adaptation I learned when I was working in the culinary program at College of DuPage. I had the pleasure of meeting a phenomenal chef named Gianluca Pardini. He is a Certified Master Chef who was visiting us from Italy. His recipe of course was beyond amazing and it seemed so simple I felt I could do it again at home. Of course months went by and I still never made it. I finally decided it was time to recreate it but now I have to go off the memory of something I saw made a year ago. Hooray! I think it still turned out pretty well. It was different from his because I had to make it Paleo but its still pretty darn tasty.
- 1 head of fresh broccoli (not frozen, important)
- 1 carton chicken stock (homemade is better, at least 6 cups)
- 1/2 small can anchovies
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk (optional)
The method is just as important as following the exact ingredients. This is a recipe that does require some patience and you can’t skip over steps to get it done sooner. That being said..here’s what you gotta do. In a sauce pan heat up your chicken stock. Don’t let it come to a rapid boil, if you see it starting to bubble up just turn it down to low. Chop up your broccoli so they are relatively the same size and mostly florets over stems. You can still keep stems but your end result may not be as creamy then. Add your broccoli to a hide sided sautee pan. Here is the important part..only add the stock a cup or two at a time. You do not want the broccoli to be fully submerged and boiling in the stock. You want the broccoli to slowly suck up the stock and eventually it’ll end up being so creamy that you wont even have to blend it, just stir it gently with a spoon. Keep repeating this step until you achieve creamy broccoli sauce. Let the stock cook off slowly before adding more stock. Also make sure to not run of of stock and the broccoli ends up burning. It wont be ruined but it just might have a bitter flavor. When your broccoli gets to the point where you can stir it with a spoon and it turns into a sauce its time to season. Chop up a couple anchovy fillets into tiny pieces and add to the sauce and stir. Do not be afraid of this step!! It does not end up tasting fishy or funky. This is that Umami flavor you always hear about on food network! Add salt and red pepper flakes and just simmer to let the flavors meld, about 5 minutes. Feel free to add Parmesan if your diet allows.
If you are adding this to pasta then just cook your pasta to al dente and toss in the broccoli sauce. I made mine with zoodles (zucchini noodles). For zucchini noodles I spiralized a whole zucchini and added it to already heated sauce on the stove and just tossed it until heated through. Enjoy!