By KATIE WORKMAN
One of the amazing things about Italian food is that the best dishes are often so completely, refreshingly simple. Like, four-ingredient simple. (We don’t count olive oil and salt. Or water. Or air.)
I love broccoli. I can roast broccoli with olive oil and salt all day long. I use it in stir-fries, casseroles, quesadillas. I rarely just steam or blanch it, however, because I find steamed broccoli to be kind of disappointing. But this dish? This is the opposite of disappointing.
The "dragged" (strascinati) technique is most often used with broccoli in Italy, though other vegetables can be prepared the same way, including cauliflower. With this method, the common step of parboiling the vegetable before sauteing is skipped, and the result is firmer vegetables and more concentrated flavor.
A generous amount of olive oil along with hot peppers and garlic are usually used. The garlic and pepper flakes are added toward the end — this lets you cook the broccolini over nice high heat without the garlic and pepper flakes burning.
Don’t flip and fuss with the broccoli too often or it won’t brown, which gives it that nutty caramelized flavor that makes this dish pretty sublime. Also, this dish works best when there is a little crunch left in the broccoli.
I made this with regular broccoli first, then with broccolini, which is like broccoli but with longer slimmer stalks and a smaller head of florets, all of which have a slightly milder flavor than broccoli.
Katie Workman is the author of the cookbooks "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook."