Yesterday I spent my afternoon at the Sagra Italian in George Square in Glasgow. A Sagra is a festival that often happens during the summer in every Italian village to showcase their culture, tradition and culinary specialities.
And La Sagra Italiana 2019 is a perfect example of what a Sagra should be, it was an amazing experience full of cultural events, music and lots and lots of delicious food. Many food trucks gathered on the square serving gelato, aperitivi, arancini, panzerotti, pizza, zeppole and more.
I was invited to deliver a cookery demonstration and I decided to do two different kinds of pasta, one from the north of Italy and one from the south. I made tagliatelle with a tomato and basil sauce and orecchiette with broccoli, chilli and garlic. Even if both kinds are fresh pasta there is a big difference between them as one is with 00 flour and egg and the other one is with semolina flour and water. Everyone enjoyed both pasta and sauces and at the end I had the empty pots and plates and lots of smiling faces around me …. success.
Grazie for the amazing experience and warmth welcome in Glasgow 🙂 See you next year, in the mean time keep cooking!
Orecchiette with broccoli
400 g semolina flour
300 ml water (about)
Little pinch of salt
400 g broccoli
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly chopped
Red chilli flakes (optional)
In a large bowl, put the semolina flour and form a well in the centre. Add water and a pinch of salt to the well, then, with a fork, gradually incorporate the water until a dough is formed. Knead the dough, until smooth and elastic, for about 8 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap.
Dust your hands with some semolina flour. Remove 1 piece of dough from the plastic wrap and roll it to create a rope 1/2 inch wide. Put the rope on a work surface and with a knife cut into small pieces (big as a chickpea). Lightly toss cut pieces with a little semolina mixture. Shape the orecchiette.
Bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the broccoli by placing it in the boiling salted water for 2 minutes.
Drain the broccoli and leave to cool. Once cool, chop them into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Cook pasta according to dimension and thickness.
While the pasta cooks, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic and red chilli flakes to taste. Cook for 1 minute.
Add drained and chopped broccoli and sauté until thoroughly heated and slightly wilted. Season it well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Before draining the pasta, remove a cup of pasta water and set it aside.
Add the drained pasta and toss it until it is coated with sauce. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve.