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Porcini and Tomato Maccheroni with Romanesco Broccoli
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Porcini and Tomato Maccheroni with Romanesco Broccoli

A Tuscan Romanesco and Pasta One-Pot.

Serve 6

500g Maccheroni Calibres Traditional handmade dried pasta

1 Romanesco Broccoli head (kept whole)

1 Large white onion

3 cloves garlic

500ml boiling water

2 tins peeled Italian tomatoes

100g dried porcini mushroom

salt and pepper

3 bay leaves

150ml extra virgin olive oil

50g Parmesan Cheese

25g butter

Pour the boiling water onto the dried mushrooms and leave to soak for 1 hour.

Cut the onion into 2cm sized cubes and place into a large saucepan, big enough to have the Romanesco Broccoli head place into it. Add 100ml of the olive oil and cook over a medium high heat to allow the onion to sweat and cook. Add 2 pinches of salt and the bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes.

Slice the garlic into thin pieces and add to the cooking onion. Cook for 5 minutes. Trim any unwanted pieces from the soaked Porcini and add to the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes. Break, crush and stir the tomatoes into the sauce. Trim any damaged or dried leaves from the Romanesco Broccoli and place the whole head into the pot. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the broccoli and sprinkle some sea salt on too. Sieve the porcini water to remove any grit and add the water to the pan. Shake and stir the pot to incorporate the mixture and place a lid on the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and allow to cook for 15 minutes before lifting the lid and basting the broccoli with the sauce. Repeat the cooking and basting process 3 times, so that after 45 minutes the broccoli should be just tender in the centre. Use a paring knife or skewer to check. If they slide in smoothly the broccoli is ready.

Boil 3 litres of lightly salted water. Pour in the dried pasta and stir well. Remove the broccoli from the pan and cut into large chunks. If you like the theatre of the event, show your friends the cooked broccoli beforehand. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well and add it into the sauce pan holding the tomato sauce. Mix well then add the butter and half of the grated parmesan cheese. Add the broccoli pieces to the pan, mix lightly and serve immediately with a light grating of parmesan.

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