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.
- 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.