We make a pilgrimage to Italy every year.  We try to go other places but the food, weather and the people just keep calling us back for more Italian adventures.  Each time we go, we try and visit a new region of the country. That is the great thing about Italy – the regional cuisines.  Each region has their way of doing things, distinct pastas, different meats, new sauces.  This past trip, we visited southern Italy, which happens to be the poorest part of the country but their regional cuisine is rich in vibrant vegetarian dishes. This broccolini is inspired by some of the flavours we enjoyed there.

Italian Broccoli3

Ok, I know what you are going to say…Anchovies?! Yuck!  And yes, in premise, they are yuck but as cheap and easy flavour makers, they pack a punch.  They give this beautiful umami flavour  and this dish just isn’t the same without them.  I promise, it won’t taste fishy and as soon as you start to smell them cooking in the oil with the garlic, you will thank me and wonder how you ever made broccoli before this recipe.

Italian Broccoli1

This broccolini dish is perfect as a side or an easy vehicle for your soft egg for breakfast or lunch.  You can even make extra and throw the leftovers into a grain bowl or tray bake.


Sauteed Broccoli Rabe


  • 200g Broccoli Rabe
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/8 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 15g almonds, chopped or flaked
  • salt and pepper for season


  1. Add almonds to a medium-sized dry frying pan on low-medium heat. Toast the nuts until fragrant and starting to brown, 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently and do not walk away as they will burn. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next, heat 1tbsp of olive oil over low-medium heat and add anchovies. Cook until they melt into the olive oil.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant and starting to crisp. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn.
  4. Add chilli flakes and then broccoli and toss in the oil and garlic mixture to coat. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, turning the broccoli occasionally. Moving quickly, poor in the water, and place a lid on the pan. You want to try and trap the steam that will come up from the water. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove lid and turn up the heat to medium-high and cook until the remaining liquid has evaporated - about 1 minute.
  5. To serve, place the broccoli on the plate and spoon over the toasted almonds. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side for seasoning at the table.