Pasta chi Giumma

In Sicily, the most popular cut of pasta is the spaghetto; it is used with tomato sauce, with meat and fish sauces, with ricotta, eggplants, or to make a “spaghettata” with garlic and oil. 

In Palermo, it is a tradition and an unwritten cooking rule that when making minestra with vegetables, it is almost mandatory to use the spaghetto spezzato, which is broken spaghetto about ½ “ length.

The pasta with broccoli is made with broken spaghetti and it is a singular dish: it is a minestra not too soupy, not too watery, however it cannot be categorized as a pasta asciutta, which is pasta served with a sauce or a condiment; this dish is served without cheese, except that in my family diced cheese is added before plating, the garlic it is cut in half to masquerade it with the cheese and make us youngsters eat it, because it was a healthy and beneficial ingredient.

It is a very simple dish, easy to prepare and it uses few ingredients.  


Serves 4  


·   12 oz. pasta 

·   1 ½  lb. of broccoli 

·   4 garlic cloves, cut in half 

·   6 tablespoons of olive oil 

·   ½ cup of your preferred cheese diced (optional) 

·   Salt and pepper to taste 




The Broccoli 
Cut and discards ½ inch from base of broccoli.

Rinse the broccoli with cold water. Do not soak. Cut the floret from the stalk and cut into small florets keeping them the same size. Set on the side.
To prepare the stalk, cut off and discard 1 inch from the end. Trim, peel and cut the tender part into thin slices. Set on the side in a container with water. 



The Condiments  

Over a high flame heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan, sauté the garlic until very light golden color. Remove skillet from heat, wait a minute and carefully add a few tablespoons of water and set on the side.  



The Pasta  

A pot of boiling water has to be kept on the side, because it may be needed in this preparation.  

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 teaspoons of salt to a boil. 

When the water boils, drain the sliced stalk of the broccoli, place into pot and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the florets and the pasta; continue cooking uncovered at a lower heat.  

 Stir occasionally and after a few minutes, check if more salt is needed, add black pepper to taste, and if you feel that the pasta is too dry, add some of the boiling water, to obtain the desired consistency. This pasta should be soupy but not too watery. When the pasta is done, remove from fire; if it is too watery drain and keep some of the pasta water on the side.


The Assembly 

Return pasta to pot and stir in the sautéed garlic condiment, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix in the diced cheese.
Serve the pasta in bowls and offer peperoncino, red hot pepper, on the side.