This peasant dish from Sicily translates to “pasta when the weather is bad”. It is what fishermen made when the weather conditions didn't allow them to fish. Besides broccoli and pasta, it uses common ingredients found in every Sicilian kitchen such as pine nuts, raisins, bread crumbs, anchovies, and saffron.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
20 mins
10 mins
45 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak raisins in warm water for 10 minutes; drain and set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook rigatoni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes.

  • At the same time, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly saute anchovies, onions, and garlic, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Mash the anchovies a bit to help them dissolve to create a paste. Add broccoli and begin to saute over medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning. Cook evenly until softened, about 10 minutes. Break up large florets as soon as they softens; ideally, you want bite-sized florets. Add ladles of the pasta water to the skillet as needed to keep the broccoli from burning.

  • Add a ladle of pasta water to a small bowl, add the saffron threads, and allow to melt. Add to the broccoli. Mash some of the smaller florets to help create a creamy sauce. Add the pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon. Stir often.

  • Drain cooked pasta, reserving the pasta water. Stir pasta into the skillet. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup bread crumbs and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat, adding a few tablespoons of pasta water if necessary. Drizzle remaining oil and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs over the top and add black pepper. Serve hot.

Cook's Notes:

You can use paccheri pasta instead if you can find it, or any large pasta like tortiglioni. If you don't have toasted bread crumbs, toast some stale bread until very brown and grate it on the large teeth of a cheese grater.

This can easily be made vegan by substituting miso for the anchovies.

Nutrition Facts

516 calories; protein 17.3g; carbohydrates 80.3g; fat 15.6g; cholesterol 3.4mg; sodium 251.1mg. Full Nutrition