Orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe tops and anchovies is a typical first course of southern cuisine, particularly that of Puglia, famous for this specific pasta format.
The typical and best-known sauce is precisely with broccoli rabe (cime di rapa): the secret is to cook the pasta in the cooking water of the vegetables, so that it will have better flavor.
To make the dish more interesting you can garnish with flavored breadcrumbs toasted in a separate pan, which will add a crispy touch to the recipe.
- 160g (5.6 ounces) whole wheat short pasta
- 800g(1 3/4 pounds) broccoli rabe rich in buds
- 3 anchovy fillets, in oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Red hot chili pepper, if liked
Prepare broccoli rabe.
Clean, wash and steam it.
For the best result: put apart its buds and steam apart. In fact cooking times are different.
Put apart cooking water.
In a frying pan, brown the garlic, remove it and add anchovies, and eventually chili pepper.
Let all fry slightly on low heat, stirring frequently, a few minutes.
Then add broccoli rabe (without its buds) and flavor, a few minutes.
Season to taste with salt, stir and turn off the stove.
– Meanwhile …
… bring to a boil the water in which you have cooked your vegetable.
Add other water if not enough.
Season to taste with salt when it is boiling.
– Cook pasta al dente stage.
Drain it very well and transfer into the pan together with broccoli rabe buds and tomatoes in oil.
If you like, you can add a sprinkling of fried bread crumbs.
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