Monday, 28 April 2008

CCC2: Pasta Broccoli

Cooking to Combat Cancer 2Chris over at Mele Cotte is replaying for the second time his great idea of a blog event to highlight one of the scourge of our age - cancer. To encourage us to cook food that combats this disease.

I don't know if you notice, it seems cancer is spreading to epidemic proportions. Rare it is to find anyone who does not personally know someone who is afflicted with cancer. My husband's family is not stranger to it. An aunt and an uncle in his mother's side died of lung and breast cancers respectively. Then his several aunts and uncles in his father's side also has/had it in various forms. For me, an old high school classmate died of breast cancer at the age of 36 leaving behind 5 young kids whose father had long abandoned the family when he learned of her illness. How heartbreaking is that?

What I can do about it? Not much except maybe support them however I can in prayers, care, and whatever help I can extend. But I think the better way would be to take care of myself and my nearest loved ones in hopefully these would not befall us. One of the obvious thing to do is to eat healthily which this post will help in giving a recipe with several cancer-fighting ingredients.

A blogging friend sent me some of these lovely orecchiette (ear shaped) pasta which she got me from Italy. Thanks Sha! I've never tried these shapes before and quite curious of its texture and quality.


Then I got this recipe in the latest Delicious magazine. Their May edition is an all Italian issue. I had to halve the recipe because there's just too much of it. This recipe I adapted contains broccoli, garlic, and chilli peppers which are touted to be top cancer-combating food. I love the simplicity of this dish which can be had on its own or with other meats.

Pasta Broccoli

Pasta Broccoli

200 g  orecchiette pasta (ear-shaped)
1 big garlic clove - thinly sliced
1 red chilli - deseeded and sliced
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 anchovy fillets (bottled or canned)
250 g  broccoli - cut into small florets
  1. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the pack instructions. Drain and set aside. Reserve some of the pasta water.
  3. A few minutes before the pasta is done, gently heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and saute the garlic and chilli. Do not let it burn.
  4. Add the broccoli and cook for about half a minute. Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil. Stir to mix.
  5. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and the anchovies. Cook in low heat while stirring frequently until the anchovies dissolve.
    Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the broccoli to cook some more.
  7. Add the last 1 Tbsp of olive oil and mix well. Dish up and serve immediately.

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