Sunday Pasta®: Fusilli con Broccoli, Acciughe e Pinoli

When I think of Philadelphia, I think of Rocky Balboa punching carcasses in a meat locker. I think of cheese steaks.  I think of South Philly’s take on Italian cuisine: red sauce joints with names like Ralph’s, serving big portions on checkered tablecloths. I conjure up this image not to disturb you, but rather so that you can now imagine the polar opposite.

The scene is Giacomo Bistrot in Milan. Forty or so seats, where the only things checkered come from Ferragamo and Gucci, and where the groomed and the manicured couldn’t even imagine eating veal parmigiana with a side of mushy spaghetti, much less consider it to be Italian.

There, I recently ate a version of today’s Sunday Pasta. The pasta itself was called “fusilloro,” which is fusilli with “oro” (for gold) at the end because they are extruded through a gold die, rather than through the standard copper. Served in a puree of broccoli and then combined with broccoli florets, anchovies and pine nuts, the dish forces one to open the mind, the mouth and the pocketbook.  There, I promise you, is where the real .0001% eat. I can hear it now, “Yo, Adrienne. What’s for dinner?” “Hey, Rocky, let’s go get us some fusilloro at Giacomo.” Or not…

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.

Sunday Pasta: Fusilli con Broccoli, Acciughe e Pinoli

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-6


1 pound fusilli (or cavatelli)
4 stalks broccoli
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
10-12 anchovies, packed in oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.

Cut the broccoli into florets, discarding the stalks. Wash the florets well and set aside. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat for a couple of minutes until golden. Remove from heat and set aside. Cut the anchovies into thirds and set aside.

In a deep skillet or pot, sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat until golden. Add the broccoli and mix together for a couple of minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cover. After 2-3 minutes, remove about half of the broccoli and set aside. Cover the remaining broccoli and cook for 2-3 more minutes until soft. With a hand blender, puree the broccoli and broth mixture until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and retain 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pot containing the broccoli puree and mix thoroughly. Add the broccoli florets, the anchovies and most of the pine nuts. Add some of the retained cooking water if it seems dry. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano and some of the remaining pine nuts.