Pasta "Ro Malu Tempu"

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.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons raisins

  • 1 (12 ounce) package rigatoni pasta

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 anchovy fillets

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 head broccoli, separated into florets

  • 4 saffron threads

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup toasted bread crumbs

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons toasted bread crumbs

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak raisins in warm water for 10 minutes; drain and set aside.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 (per serving)

516 Calories
16g Fat
80g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 516
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 251mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 80g 29%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 68mg 342%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 532mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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