This is another dish that comes from Joshua McFadden’s “Six Seasons” and it can be served as a side or as a hearty meal onto itself. Removing the anchovies will make it vegetarian, but the addition of that small, salty fish adds a nice depth to the flavoring.
For this you’ll need: x2 bunches of broccolini (dried stem-ends trimmed and then cut into smaller, 1-2″, pieces), x1 15 oz can of whole tomatoes (drained and roughly cut), x3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed with the wide side of a knife), 6-8 anchovy fillets, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, grated parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cut the mozzarella into 1/4″ slices and place in a single layer on plate lined with paper towels. Add more paper towels to the top and then place a heavy skillet or pot on top of them to press them and remove excess water.
In a large skilled heat a good glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and toss well to coat them in oil. Cook them for about a minute until just beginning to brown. Add the anchovies and the crushed red pepper and break up the garlic and fish with the back of a wooden spoon until everything dissolves into the oil and light paste is formed, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
Add the broccolini and stir everything together to coat the stalks and florets and cook over medium low heat until the broccolini is juts beginning to soften – about 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes as well as a good grinding of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine everything and cook until the tomatoes are breaking down into a pasty type sauce – about 8-10 minutes. Add oil if the mixture begins to dry out too much. Add some grated parmesan at the very end and remove it from the heat.
Lightly oil a high sided baking dish large enough for you to spread the broccolini and tomato mixture into a single layer. Place the drained mozzarella slices evenly across the top and put under the broiler under melted and browning – about 5 minutes.
Remove and some more grated parmesan to the top. Serve immediately while still hot and melty.