This pasta dish is the pride of the region of Puglia in Italy. And proud they should be because it is so good & outrageously simple. I can't believe these words are mine because I grew up evading vegetables all throughout my younger years. The same person who had to be reprimanded over and over again for not eating the veggies.
I only discovered the beauty of the bounties of nature in Italy. When we were in Puglia last spring, I never got tired of eating this pasta.
Believe it or not, both my kids love this pasta too. I guess I have to be grateful that they are vegetable & fruit eaters. It would have been terrible if they were like me. Now I understand my parents' frustration with my limited diet when I was young.
The mixture of garlic & anchovies is the key factor of this pasta because it boosts the taste of the broccoli rabe.
|When still fresh, it overflows in the pan. When cooked, only a tenth of the original volume remains.|
Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe (Orecchiette con le Cime di Rapa)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 chili, seeded and chopped
- 4 preserved salted anchovies
- 400 grams broccoli rabe, cut into small pieces
- 200 grams orecchiette pasta
- Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan
- Over high heat, boil a pot of water for the pasta.
- Meantime, over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the garlic & chili.
- Add the anchovies when the garlic starts to color.
- When the anchovies start to diffuse, add the broccoli rabe on low heat. Avoid burning the garlic & anchovies by moving them constantly.
- When the broccoli rabe has diminished and has been toasted well, turn off the fire, after cooking for about 20 minutes.
- Do not add salt because the anchovies are already salty. Discard the garlic.
- If the water is already boiling, add some salt then cook the orecchiette. Follow the cooking time indicated in the package then drain when cooked.
- Mix the broccoli rabe with the cooked orrechiette.
- Sprinkle with parmesan & drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.