Orecchiette are little bowl shaped pasta that are made by hand with flour and water in Italy, particularly around Apulia. Broccoli rabe makes a tasty, healthy vegetarian sauce although I do give a variation using a little pancetta. Orecchiette can generally be found in any Italian specialty stores.
Cooks Note: You can also add 1 pound of crumbled sausage meat to this dish for a change in place of the pancetta. Just brown the sausage first, and add to the oil mixture. Generally cheese is not offered due to the red peppers, but I do like to add some grated pecorino or parmesan to mine.
Deborah Mele 2011
Orecchiette con Cima di Rape
Orecchiette are little bowl shaped pasta that are made by hand with flour and water in Italy, particularly around Apulia.
- 1 Pound Dried Orecchiette
- 1 Pound Broccoli Rabe
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- Pinch Of Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1/3 Cup Good Quality Olive Oil
- 5 Slices (1/3 Cup) Chopped Pancetta
- Trim the broccoli rabe by cutting off any tough stems, and chop into 1 inch pieces and peel the skin off the tougher pieces and cut these into 1 inch pieces as well.
- In a small saucepan, heat the oil, garlic, pancetta (if using) and pepper flakes.
- Set Aside.
- Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta.
- Cook as per package instructions until the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
- Add the broccoli rabe to the pasta pot and cook until tender.
- Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving a small cup of pasta water.
- Return the pasta mixture to the pot and mix well with the oil mixture, adding water as needed to keep it moist.
- Serve piping hot.