Broccoli & Fennel Rigatoni With Spiced Cannellini
START TO FINISH: 30 MIN. SERVES 4 ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ tsp. fennel seeds
8 cups very small broccoli florets from 2 large crowns
2 cups packed fresh basil, plus ½ cup chopped
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 large garlic clove
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Red pepper flakes
¾ lb. whole wheat or brown rice rigatoni
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. oil and the fennel seeds over medium, stirring until fragrant, about 2 min. Scrape the fennel oil into a food processor.
2 Return the skillet to medium heat, and add ½ cup water and the broccoli. Cover, and steam the broccoli until bright green and crisp tender, about 3 min. Remove the lid, and reserve 2 cups of the florets. Scrape the remaining florets into the food processor with the fennel oil. Let cool slightly, then add another 5 Tbsp. oil, 2 cups basil leaves, vinegar, cheese, garlic, and a pinch of cayenne. Pulse until very finely chopped.
3 Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, the beans, paprika, and a large pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until warm, about 3 min. Remove from heat; stir in chopped basil. Keep warm.
4 Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, following package instructions. Drain, and return to the pot. Scrape the finely chopped broccoli into the pot with the cooked pasta, and add the reserved broccoli.
5 Spoon pasta into bowls, and spoon the warm beans over top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and more red pepper flakes if desired.