I always stay at the same bed and breakfast in Palermo. It is located in a convenient area, spotless and comfortable to stay at, but these are not only the reason. I like the Sicilian couple who runs the B&B, so I go back to see them.
I had asked them for a Sicilian recipe to post here, and upon arrival, they gave me a typical one in Palermo: Bucatini con Broccoli Arriminati.
Arriminato means ‘stirred’, and broccoli arriminati is literally translated to ‘stirred broccoli’. This is a pasta dish with broccoli sauce made by stirring well.
Hang on! Cauliflower is called broccoli in Sicily! This is confusing…. The bright green colour of the vegetable confuses us, too! It’s not ‘broccoli’ but greenish cauliflower what we call! To say precisely, it is cauliflower pasta!
So I made it with white cauliflower, and with broccoli (not Sicilian one!) to colour the sauce as green cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli or broccoflower are not easily found here. Now it can be properly called ‘broccoli’ pasta 😀
Bucatini is traditionally used for this dish. It is served with toasted breadcrumbs on top, which is so called ‘poor man’s Parmesan’. Raisin and pine nut are typical ingredients used in Sicilian dishes, where we can see Arabic influence over the island.
I made some alterations, but basically followed the ingredients and instructions they gave me. I’m sure this is going to be one of my rotation recipes when cauliflowers are in season!
(for 2 servings)
50 g bugget (leftover or stale bread is ideal), finely grated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 liters water
2 tsp salt
180 g cauliflower (about 1/2 head)
80 g broccoli (about 1/4 head)
200 g bucatini (I used no.6)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100 g onion, finely chopped
2 fillets of anchovy
20 g raisins
20 g pine nuts
blackpepper (to taste)
a pinch (1/16 tsp) of saffron powder
- For toasted breadcrumbs: Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs to toast on low heat, stirring consistently for 5 minutes or until crisp and brown.
- Bring a pot of the salted water to the boil. Put in the cauliflower and broccoli and cook over medium heat until easily broken apart (about 10 min for broccoli, 15 min for cauliflower). Remove from the water and set aside. Retain the cooking liquid to cook the sauce and pasta.
- For the sauce: In a pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion over medium heat until translucent. Put in the anchovy, and break with wooden spoon or such. Add the raisins and pine nuts to fry for a few minutes. Put in the boiled cauliflower and broccoli, then mash and mix by stirring. Season with the pepper, add the saffron and 100 cc cauliflower/broccoli water, and cook gently on lower heat for 5 min stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn’t get too dry – add some more cooking liquid if required.
- Meanwhile, add some water to the cauliflower/broccoli water and bring back to the boil, then cook the pasta until just before ‘al dente’ (bucatini no.6 for about 6 min).
- Transfer the pasta into the sauce. Mix well all together while cooking for 1-2 min. Taste it and add salt if required.
- Sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs on the top when serve.
Bed &Breakfast in Palermo
La Via Delle Biciclette – You will know where the name comes from.