During the still-cold days in the transition from winter to spring, there is still a yen for warm, tasty comfort food coupled with a push toward fresh vegetables, which for us are not yet local. This dish is another example of my philosophy of walking in the door after work, setting a pot of water on to boil and lighting the oven, before doing anything else.
Here I parboiled the broccoli, cooled it and pureed much of it in the food processor with garlic and anchovies that had been melted together with some olive oil, making a flavorful pesto. (You can add pine nuts or walnuts if you have some.) I cooked the pasta in the same pot of water.
Meanwhile, I tossed cherry tomatoes with herbs, olive oil, and a few large breadcrumbs (not necessary but nice if they get crispy). There was enough complexity to make this very flavorful and the higher proportion of vegetables to pasta made it feel lighter than other pasta dishes.
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