Broccoli Broth with Pancetta, Prosciutto and Pasta: Minestra di Broccoli alla Romana
- 1 pound broccoli, washed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch florets
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small dried chile pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 1/2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
- 1/2 pound ziti, broken into short lengths
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the broccoli in the boiling water until just tender and still bright green. Drain the broccoli and do not discard the cooking liquid.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pancetta, onion, chile and garlic and cook until the onion and garlic begin to brown. Add the prosciutto and reserved broccoli water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Return the blanched broccoli to the pan, season with salt and pepper and serve divide equally among four warmed pasta bowls, topped with freshly grated pecorino.
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