Broccolini with smoked speck, garlic and chilli

Broccolini with smoked speck, garlic and chilli.
Broccolini with smoked speck, garlic and chilli. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This is a wintry way to dress up broccolini. The speck adds a robust smoky flavour and richness that really clicks for me on a chilly night.


3 bunches broccolini, trimmed 

150g quality speck, cut into lardons, or use pancetta

100ml extra virgin olive oil 

3-5 cloves garlic, sliced

3 eschalots (golden shallots), thickly sliced in half rounds

1 tsp dried chilli flakes 

60g grana padano parmesan



1. Cook the broccolini in a large pot of salted water for four or five minutes or until cooked. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

2. In a large frying pan, cook the speck over a high heat for three to four minutes until it starts to brown —  you shouldn’t need oil at this stage as the fat will render out of the speck.

3. Add the oil, garlic and eschalots and cook for a further three minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and the eschalots have softened and started to take on some colour. 

4. Add the hot broccolini, the chilli flakes and a splash of the cooking water. Toss through over the heat for another minute or so, reducing any liquid and coating the broccolini well. Pile on to a serving plate, spoon over the pan liquid, grate over the parmesan and serve.