I first had pasta with slow-cooked broccoli at Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer's Coppa in Boston's South End and was blown away by its intense flavor. When cooked down in a rich tomato sauce, broccoli takes on an entirely different character with a deep, mildly sulfurous aroma that borders on meaty in its savoriness.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 head broccoli (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/2- to 1-inch florets, tough stems discarded
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped, juice reserved
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound hearty short pasta, such as ziti or penne rigate
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and chili flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is completely tender and broken down, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to sauce. Add parsley leaves and stir to combine. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional extra virgin olive oil and parsley leaves as desired.