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 so that you can now imagine its 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 the following recipe. 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 the standard copper. This place, I promise you, is where the real .0001% eat. I can hear it now, “Yo, Adrian. What’s for dinner?” “Hey, Rocky, let’s get some fusilli at Giacomo.” Or not…
Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for a couple of minutes until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil 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 the broccoli and set aside. Cover the remaining broccoli and cook for 2-3 more minutes until soft. Use an immersion blender to purée the broccoli and broth mixture until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package directions), 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 too dry.
Serve with the remaining pine nuts and grated Parmigiano.