Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #37: Broccoli Orecchiette
This was our 37th cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. I’m still catching up on the backlog! For this one, we made “Broccoli Orecchiette, Courgette & Bocconcini Salad, Prosciutto & Melon Salad.” We picked it because we knew we were getting rockmelon (cantaloupe) in our weekly veggie box, and we had some zucchini to use up as well. I was on chef’s duty for this one, and I managed it in an easy 26:14!

Broccoli Pasta

Substitutions: The only change – and it’s an obvious one – is that we used fusilli instead of orecchiette, simply because that’s what we could find! Everything else was as written in the recipe.

Quick verdict: This was great! A tasty and easy pasta dish along with two flavoursome salads. I think the anchovies and chilli were the key to the pasta and kept it from being boring. I was actually dreading the prosciutto and melon, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of cantaloupe. Ours was perfectly ripe though, and it went SO WELL with the prosciutto. I loved it. The courgette salad was good, if a bit messy! We both rated this one 9.5 out of 10. It’s a nice summery Italian feast that you could whip up for a group pretty easily.

Read on for a photo essay of the preparation.Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The kettle was filled up and heated. We had a big pot for the cooking the pasta and a frying pan for the pasta sauce. The food processor was ready with both the grater and the blade, and we also needed a mortar & pestle.

First up are the ingredients for the pasta: parmesan cheese, broccoli, “sprouting broccoli” (broccolini), anchovies, capers, dried chilli, garlic, thyme, and dried fusilli.

Pasta ingredients

For the courgette salad, we had mint, red chilli, lemon, courgettes (zucchini), and a tub of bocconcini.

Courgette Salad ingredients

For the other salad, we had: basil, lemon, prosciutto, cantaloupe, and balsamic vinegar.

Prosciutto and melon ingredients

Pots and pans, ready to go! Big pot for pasta, fry pan for pasta sauce.

Pots and pans

Food processor with grater and blade, and mortar & pestle.

Food processor

And I’m off! I started by trimming the rind off the parmesan cheese.

Trimming the cheese

Then I fed that into the food processor to grate it up.

Grating cheese

I set the cheese aside for later and switched in the blade attachment in the food processor.

Cheese

Next I trimmed off all the florets from the broccoli.

Florets

I also trimmed the ends from the broccolini and cut the spears in half.

Trimming broccolini

I added the chopped up broccoli stalk to the food processor along with some anchovies and their oil.

Anchovies

I also added capers, dried chilli, and three cloves of garlic.

More stuff

Then I whizzed it all up into a paste.

Sauce paste

I put the broccoli paste into the hot frying pan with some olive oil.

Cooking the paste

Next I picked in some thyme leaves…

Thyme leaves

…and added some water, along with the parmesan rind.

Adding water and rind

Time to get the pasta going! I filled the big pot from the kettle and added the fusilli.

Pasta

While those were cooking, it was time to prep the salads. I picked some mint leaves and de-seeded a red chilli.

Mint and chilli

I grated on some lemon zest…

Lemon zest

…then chopped it all together.

Chopping

I put this on a serving plate with some extra virgin olive oil and then squeezed over some lemon juice.

Dressing

I next used a speed peeler to turn the zucchini into thin ribbons.

Peeling zucchini

Time to add the broccoli and broccolini to the cooking pasta!

Adding broccoli to pasta

I piled the zucchini ribbons on to the dressing and took it to the table with the bocconcini.

Finished zucchini salad

Next I picked a handful of basil leaves and bashed them up with some salt in the mortar & pestle.

Bashing basil

I also added some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to loosen it up a bit. It was the most brilliant green.

Making a sauce

The pasta and broccoli was cooked, so I drained it in the sink (reserving part of the cooking liquid).

Draining pasta

The sauce was finished, so I removed the parmesan rind.

Sauce

Then I added the pasta to the sauce along with some cooking liquid and tossed a couple handfuls of grated parmesan on top.

Combining everything

To prep the cantaloupe, I cut it in half and removed the seeds.

Cantaloupe

Then I used a spoon to remove large chunks of melon flesh to the serving plate.

Chunks of melon

I then draped over the slices of prosciutto.

Prosciutto

To finish the salad, I drizzled over some balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, and cantaloupe juice. (The basil sauce was added just before serving.)

Melon salad

Here’s the finished broccoli pasta with extra parmesan on top.

Finished pasta

Here’s the finished zucchini salad, all tossed together and with the bocconcini added.

Zucchini salad

And here’s the finished melon salad, complete with basil sauce.

Prosciutto and melon salad

Lastly, the complete meal!

Finished meal

Tasting notes: The Snook also liked the anchovy in the broccoli pasta. He is anti-broccolini though, just because he thinks it’s expensive and doesn’t taste any different from normal broccoli. But he enjoyed the dish nevertheless. We both enjoyed the zucchini salad, but you may want to add some salt as the mozzarella balls can be a little bland. And the prosciutto and melon! It was a revelation. We were fighting over the last pieces. I think the key factors there were having a ripe cantaloupe and some excellent (slightly funky, in a good way) prosciutto. Having only three dishes means this meal is a fast one to cook, and I easily finished in under thirty minutes. We both rated it 9.5 out of 10. Highly recommended!

Stay tuned for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!

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