Estérelle Payany's orecchiette with broccoli and anchovies

Turn leftovers into gastronomic gold

This week, one of France’s most respected food critics has shared one of her favourite recipes with us. Estérelle Payany’s palate carries a lot of weight in the culinary world, and while she evidently knows her stuff about restaurants, she’s also a peerless chef whose cookery books are well worth investing in.

Estérelle Payany also has a big heart, and has always strived to make the culinary world more in sync with the challenges of our era. Sustainability, for example, is at the heart of her latest recipe book, ‘La Cuisine des Beaux Restes’, in which she explains how to adopt a more eco-conscious approach in the kitchen, while also preventing food from ending up in landfill. The Italian-inspired recipe you’ll find below is taken from the book, and is an excellent example of the kind of thing you can whip up from leftovers.

Before you tuck in, here are few words from Payany herself: ‘While this recipe is usually made with cime di rape, that is broccoli rabe, which aren’t easy to found outside Italy, using whole broccolis (from the flower to the stem) is an excellent alternative. You could also simply use loads of leftover stems. The fried breadcrumbs replace the conventional parmesan and is why they’re often called the parmesan of the poor in the south of Italy, which provided the inspiration for this recipe.’

Ingredients for four people

  • Three teaspoons of capers
  • One small broccoli or three broccoli stems
  • 400g orecchiette
  • One or two garlic cloves
  • Six tablespoons of olive oi
  • Six anchovy fillets
  • 6 generous tablespoons of homemade bread crumbs
  • Dried chilli to taste
  • Sea salt


Desalt the capers by washing with cold water two or three times. Dry them on absorbent paper.

Wash the broccoli. Remove the flowers from the stem, then peel the latter and chop into small pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Pour in the pasta and broccoli and mix. Keep on the boil and let them cook for around ten minutes.

All the while, peel and grate the garlic cloves. Brown them in a frying pan with half of the olive oil on a low flame with the anchovy fillets and chilli. Put aside.

In another pan, warm up the remaining oil. Fry the capers, then place them on absorbent paper. In the same pan, turn the bread crumbs until golden and crispy.

Drain the pasta and broccoli. Add them to the garlic and anchovies, then heat the mixture on a high flame for one to two minutes.

Add the fried capers and half of the golden bread crumbs, and serve straight away. Place any remaining bread crumbs in a bowl for your dining companions to dip into as they please.

Top anti-waste tip: Only use broccoli stems (peeled and grated). Don’t cook them with the pasta but instead with the garlic and anchovies.

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