Get ready for a deeply rich and slightly creamy umami flavor with this quick and easy weeknight Garlic Anchovy Pasta with Broccoli. Though this dish has anchovies, don’t be nervous about them! They add a funky, umami flavor that pairs well with tangy goat cheese and garlic.
You may be wondering what umami is, and that’s a good question. Umami is the fifth taste, and it’s a pretty recent discovery! Umami was discovered in 1908 by Japanese scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda. While enjoying a bowl of broth, he noticed that the savory flavor was distinctly different from the four basic tastes we know.
Umami translates to “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese. Typically you find this flavor in foods that contain high levels of glutamate. Umami has 3 distinct properties: the taste spreads across the tongue, it lasts longer than other tastes, and it makes your mouth water. You typically taste Umami in meats like beef and pork,fish, gravies, broths, tomatoes, cheese, and sauces.
This recipe is great for a busy weeknight because you can do some minor things to really change it up. If you want a creamy sauce with it instead of just goat cheese throughout, you can mix the goat cheese with a cup of reserved water to make a creamy sauce that you can toss the pasta in. You can easily swap out the angel hair for another pasta like rigatoni to switch it up. Just some small things that keep this dish fresh for repeat eating because once you try this dish once, you’ll be making it time and time again.