Orecchiette alla cime di rapa (orecchiette fresh pasta with broccoli rabe) are a traditional pasta recipe from Puglia region, Bari province in particular. The term Orecchiette derives from the Italian term for "little ears", a reference to this fresh pasta's characteristic shape.
This traditional rural recipe is a perfect balance of unique flavours: broccoli rbe, anchovies and garlic...a true delicacy!
Ingredients (2 serves):
250g fresh orecchiette
250g broccoli rabe
2 garlic cloves
3 anchovy fillets
50g circa breadcrumbs
fine sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
red chilli flakes - optional
Remove the hard bottom part of the broccoli rabe and the flowers (if present), wash and dry them.
Bring a large sauce pan to a boil and add a handful of coarse sea salt.
In the meantime, pour half of the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and add the breadcrumbs. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until it turns golden brown. Put it on a side to cool down.
Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli rabe and cook them for 5 minutes circa.
In the meantime, pour the rest of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic cloves and the anchovies. Cook over medium-low heat stirring and breaking up the anchovies until they melt in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add some chilli flakes (optional) and turn off the heat.
Once the broccoli rabe are cooked (5 mins), add the orecchiette in the same sauce pan and cook for other 5 to 7 minutes (check the orecchiette label). Stir gently and then drain.
Add orecchiette and broccoli rabe to the frying pan with the olive oil and anchovies, stir and toss rapidly for a few seconds on high heat then turn it off.
Place the orecchiette with broccoli rabe in a plate and add the breadcrumbs on top.