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Orecchiette pasta with broccoli raab and anchovies recipe

Orecchiette pasta with broccoli raab and anchovies recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Vegetable pasta

Orecchiette with broccoli raab is the iconic dish of the Italian region of Puglia. It's a recipe full of flavours and textures: the bitter-sweet broccoli raab, the salty anchovies, the crunchy breadcrumbs and the spicy chilli. When it's not broccoli raab season, try it with broccoli or cauliflower.

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IngredientsServes: 4

  • 250g broccoli raab
  • 400g handmade or shop-bought orecchiette
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 anchovies fillets, in olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinch dried chilli pepper flakes (optional)

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Wash the broccoli raab and cut off and reserve the tips (flowers). Peel the outermost, tougher part of the stems and cut them in 3 to 4cm long strips. Chop the leaves too.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the stems and leaves. Considering that the broccoli raab stems and leaves will need to cook for about 15 minutes and the pasta needs about 4 to 5 minutes for fresh and about 8 minutes for dried, add the pasta at the correct time after the broccoli raab; Add the flowers 4 minutes before the total cooking time is up.
  3. In the meantime, cook the garlic in 2 tablespoons oil, until golden. Add the anchovies, stir and break into little pieces with a wooden spoon; cook until they become soft. In another pan, toast the breadcrumbs in 1 teaspoon of oil until crisp and golden.
  4. Drain pasta and broccoli raab and reserve 2 ladles of cooking water. Transfer the pasta into the pan with the anchovies, add a ladle of water and cook on high heat for 1 minute or so, tossing to coat the pasta. Add the chilli flakes if using and more water if needed. Discard the garlic.
  5. Distribute the orecchiette on to 4 warmed plates and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Serve.

Cooking pasta

If using fresh pasta, it will take no longer than 4 to 5 minutes. So, you might need to add the pasta along with the broccoli raab tips, 4 to 5 minutes before the end.

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Step 1

Mash anchovies into butter in a medium bowl season with salt (if needed taste first) and pepper.

Step 2

Tear broccoli rabe leaves into 2” pieces set aside. Thinly slice stems ¼” thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic and broccoli rabe stems and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stems are tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.

Step 4

Add pasta, reserved broccoli rabe leaves, ¼ cup pasta liquid, and 3 Tbsp. anchovy butter to skillet (save remaining butter for another use). Cook, tossing occasionally and adding more pasta liquid as needed, until leaves are wilted and sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes. Toss in grated Pecorino season with salt and pepper. Serve pasta topped with shaved Pecorino.

How would you rate Pasta with Anchovy Butter and Broccoli Rabe?

The flavors here are really good but I agree with Karen that there is really no reason (at least none that I can imagine) to mash the anchovies into all that butter. Just throw them in the skillet with the rabe, and you get a very similar effect.

Why would you mash anchovies into two sticks (eight tablespoons) of butter if the recipe only calls for three tablespoons? That is ridiculous. It's not like it's hard to mash anchovies into butter.

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I love broccoli raab and anchovies. I only modified by judging the best amount of raab based on the massive bunch I had. I also made a full pound of pasta (hate recipes that ask for 12 ounces when all packages come in 1 lb.). Used more of the pasta water. Added red pepper flakes to the stems/garlic. Next time more anchovy butter.

Has anyone figured out what proportions to make less anchovy butter?

I did alter this recipe quite a bit but it was great and I'm going to make it again properly. I had some blue cheese butter left over from some steaks so I used that in place of the anchovy butter. Also, I couldn't find any rabe at the grocery store so I subbed in baby bok choy. It was awesome with these changes but I am excited to try it as written.

I haven't tried this yet (just bookmarked it, though), but looks like it could be interesting. I think for a hit of colour, texture and additional flavour Iɽ probably add some julienned red pepper, which Iɽ keep crisp. The recipe also seems to say "crispy homemade bacon bits as a garnish." Though I'm not sure if that would be too salty on top of the anchovies. Hmmm. possibilities.

Please read recipe before commenting on the amount of butter. Recipe calls for only 3 Tablespoons of anchovy butter. If you have no other use for the butter, make a smaller amount using appropriate proportions.

Made it today. It was very good, but I found that much more than 3 tablespoons of the anchovy butter is needed to flavor it. More like 6. This could be because I put less cheese than the recipient requires, but I wanted to taste the anchovies more than the cheese.

Planning to make tonight, but here is a thought: why use up two sticks of butter, while only 3 tablespoons of it is necessary for the recipe?

Two sticks of butter for FOUR servings? I guess it WOULD be good, wouldn't it? Why not add a pound or two of bacon? Yeah, I don't think so. I'm not giving it a fork rating to skew the results, just wanted to comment.

Great pasta recipe. I cut the butter in half and added a little more of the pasta cooking liquid--a whole cup of butter just seemed like a bit much to me--and I don't think the texture or flavor suffered (at least not much!). Quick and easy, great for a weeknight meal. I think this would work well with lots of different veggies.

Delicious! The anchovy butter does add a great flavor. I made this exactly as is the first time, and then added grilled sausage the second. I enjoyed both!

    1. Heat oil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until beginning to color, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
    2. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and cook until pasta is just tender, but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Drain. Transfer pasta and broccoli rabe to large bowl. Pour garlic oil over. Sprinkle with cheeses and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Just OK. Edible. Nothing special.

    So easy yet so good - a fantastic recipe as is!

    Couldn't find rapini, made with broccoli. It's probably a keeper, but not 4 forks material (I can imagine it with rapini).

    Very good. Easy and healthy week night dinner

    i made this recipe with linguini and baby broccoli. it was outstanding. i added a pinch of red pepper flakes and served with shrimp with garlic and breadcrumbs from this site. a garlic lover's delight! it was a gourmet meal but simple to prepare. highly recommended.

    Yum. Just as is. Very, very satisfying and simple.

    Very easy! Used broccolini and was excellent. Will definitely make again.

    Made this last night. I used broccoli (couldn't find rabe) and a different shaped pasta. The recipe is certainly easy, and it tastes good. It has a good balance of flavors -- not too cheesy, not too greasy, not too garlicky. And it's a great way to get the kids to eat some veggies. Next time I'll add some sausage just to make it a little heartier.

    I prepared this exactly as specified. This is easy and tastes great! I recommend the Pecorino Romano--it costs a little more but makes a big difference in flavor.

    Simple and delicious. My market didn't have any Rabe at this time, so I used broccolini. I think a little grated lemon zest would be a nice addition. I will try it next time.

    Try it with white truffle oil and sausage. Delicious!

    Thank you ɺlyciadaniels' I followed your advice and only used the little leaves and flowers and I absolutely loved this dish. While heating up the oil prior to adding the garlic I added an anchovy for a little extra flavor and I highly recommend doing this. This is a simple yet delicious dish that I will certainly be making again.

    I have been searching for a recipe similar to the one served at our favorite restaurant and this is it (except that they include kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes in their version). This is delicious in its original form or with the added ingredients just be sure to use good quality cheeses, it makes all the difference.

    Loved everything about this but the broccoli rabe. We found it to be bitter. Next time I will use broccoli or Broccolini.

    This dish is a staple in the winter, use all the rapini, but ensure it is fresh, ie discard any yellow parts and the stem ends. Delicious and feels healthy too.

    East and fast. I made it with brocolli and whole wheat pasta for my picky seven year old, and he ate it without complaint.

    I made the dish according to the specifications of alyciadaniels and the outcome was great. She is right about the flowers and small leaves being the only sweet part of the plant. (Guilt will force me to try the dish again with the big leaves tomorrow, rather than toss them out.) I mashed a couple cloves of garlic on medium heat and cooked them for a minute in olive oil. I tossed them out and, over low heat, melted four oil-packed anchovy fillets in the oil, then turned off the heat. Boiled my pasta, added in my rappini--flowers and small leaves only--and scooped it all into my pan. I turned on the heat under my pan, grated in some hard cheese, seasoned it with salt and chili flakes. Once platted, I poured generous amounts of good olive oil over each serving. More Parmesan at the table.

    I added red pepper flakes (about 1/2 tsp)when I sauteed the garlic and thought this dish was delicious. My broccoli rabe was tender and rather mild. You have to be careful when you buy this vegetable as it is sometimes quite bitter.

    This is delicious, and so easy.

    My husband is Pugliese. There's a secret to cleaning the rape, or rappini. You're only supposed to use the the little leaves and the flowers. The big leaves and stems are bitter and nasty. 20 lbs of rape doesn't yield very much food either. If the plant is not in. season, there aren't very many flowers and it's a waste of time. I guess it's also possible that it's a completely different beast in Italy. The little artichokes and arugola and completely different beasts there as well. When my father-in-law makes this dish, he sautees peeled and halved garlic cloves, rather than minced, and adds a little anchovy to the oil as well. After tossing the oil mixture with the pasta and rape, it is served with raw olive oil and red pepper flakes to taste. Olive oil in Italy is like wine, and it loses it's perfume when it's cooked, so they are constantly seasoning their food with raw olive oil. They even drizzle it over pizza. It really makes a difference in this dish. The oil is basically the sauce, and if you skimp on the oil for health reasons, then skimp on the cooked oil, and just add raw olive oil and the red pepper flakes, because it's really good for you, much better than cooked olive oil. If you don't want to bother with the rape, regular broccoli or cauliflower does just great. I make it with whole wheat penne for my 2 year old and he licks the plate. Just add pasta and vegetables to salted boiling water, and cook together until the pasta is done. Drain, and immediately mix it all up with raw olive oil, red pepper flakes and a little peccorino, and voila! Healthy dinner in 15 minutes. Buon Appetito!

    Wow, I'm not sure why there are bad reviews for this. It was outstanding and easy to make. I too cooked the pasta / rabe in broth (I used vegetable broth because my boyfriend is a vegetarian) and only sauteed the garlic for about 30 seconds, but only used about 1/8 of a cup of the oil to keep it light. I absolutely LOVED the flavor - I didn't find it bland at all - and it's also a beautiful pasta to serve, in my opinion. I will make it often!

    This is one of my favorite dishes--I add chickpeas and some red pepper flakes for an easy and delicious vegetarian dinner.

    Too garlicky - and I like garlic. I think you need to simmer the garlic absolutely perfectly to get the flavor right. I'll only make the dish again if I mix it up somehow - use roasted garlic, add some toasted pine nuts, or something.

    Wow, what a dissapointment- After all these reviews I thought this would be a no brainer for our dinner party tonight- It was SO bland. I doubled the garlic, added 1/4 t. of red pepper flakes to the oil and did the broth in the water as others had recommended and then after tasting it just before serving I panicked- it tasted like oily pasta with just a garlicky taste with some greens. I then added a ton of cheese and just had to serve it. My 8 year old told me it was DELICIOUS- this is from a child who eats plain pasta with a tad of butter usually! Definitely not a ⟊n i have the recipe' type recipe from any guests. I just made sure everyone had enough Italian wine so maybe they wouldn't notice. Won't make again. I think the key to this is that almost every review is saying what they added to this recipe. I would think with spicy sausage it would be much better but I have vegetarians in the family- if you have to add that many things to a recipe to make it good, it's not a good recipe.

    Perfect dish. Used lots and lots of garlic as well as some florets to fill out my small amount of rabe. The shock came as my toddlers munched broccoli saying 'yum yum mom' while grabbing for more. I'll make this again as I actually prefer it over our standard 'rabe with sausage'.

    RECIPE: 15-minute orecchiette with broccoli rabe

    Many Italian restaurants serve some version of orecchiette with rapini (also called broccoli rabe). This famous dish from Puglia combines chewy “little ear” pasta with the leafy crucifer that is an ancestor to our modern broccoli. Typically the preparation involves sausage or anchovy and a bit of hot red pepper.

    During my time as a restaurant critic for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I tasted too many attempts that missed the mark because the chefs trod too lightly with the rapini’s angry, in-your-face bitterness. These greens, served blanched and bright green, too often tasted like chewing on aspirin against a backdrop of bland pasta.

    When dealing with bitter flavors, I try to think like a bartender. Bitters are essential to cocktails, but they have to be balanced with equally strong flavors. In a cocktail, that means sugar, acid and alcohol. In a pasta, it means salt, fat, hot spice and (yeah, that word) umami.

    Over the years, I’ve developed a recipe that requires a small shopping list at a good supermarket and comes together with one pot and one pan. Any orecchiette works, though the De Cecco brand is commonly available and great. Likewise, many markets with good produce departments stock excellent Andy Boy rapini (marketed as broccoli rabe) from California. Depending on the season and whether you buy the organic or conventionally farmed product, it can be more or less bitter. That leaves it to you to turn the dials on the other ingredients to get the bitterness in check. Both anchovies and grating cheese have umami to spare.

    There is one ingredient that makes this dish sing for me, and that is Calabrian hot red peppers packed in oil. They’re easy to find in an Italian market or order online however, red pepper flakes work as an alternative.

    Orecchiette with Tomatoes, Basil & Ricotta Salata

    When I first tasted handmade orecchiette in the Apulia region of southern Italy, I had an epiphany, one of those moments when you know you’re tasting “the real thing.” As soon as I bit into one of the irregularly shaped rounds (orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian), I was hooked. The slightly chewy disks were the perfect foil to the robust sauce they were tossed in, made from bitter broccoli raab, fragrant garlic, and salty anchovies. The pasta’s cupped shape held drops of the sauce, while its sturdy texture kept it from getting soggy.

    What set these orecchiette apart from the storebought kind I’d been eating for years was their fresh flavor and firm yet yielding texture. This pasta was more than simply a vehicle for transporting sauce it was an equal element of the dish, as important as the sauce itself. I knew that once I got home, I’d be making my own. Fortunately, orecchiette (pronounced or-eh-KYEH-tay) are simple to make.

    The dough needs hard flour and-surprise-warm water

    Like people, pasta varieties are products of their environment. Just as the fertile Italian region of Emilia-Romagna has provided the world with rich tortellini, the more rugged Apulia has given us sturdy, no-nonsense orecchiette.

    Unlike most homemade pastas, which contain eggs, orecchiette are made from just flour and water. The lack of eggs and the use of semolina flour, which is harder than white flour, contribute to the pasta’s pleasingly firm bite.

    I blend the semolina with all-purpose flour. You can find semolina flour, which is made from hard durum wheat, in many supermarkets and specialty food stores, or you can order it from sources such as Dean & DeLuca in New York or Butte Creek Mill in Oregon.

    The dough is made like any other pasta dough, by shaping the flour into a well, putting the liquid in the middle, and very gradually working in the flour with your fingers or a fork. The surprising difference with this dough is that you use warm water, not cold. The warm water will help to develop more gluten in the flour, making it very elastic.

    After the dough is mixed, it needs at least seven minutes of serious kneading. As you knead, the dough may crumble a little if it does, just wet your hands lightly and continue working.

    Like most homemade pastas, orecchiette dough begins with a well. But this pasta contains just water and flour, and some of the flour is semolina. Use your fingers to mix the water and flour. Add the water a little at a time until you have a soft, sticky dough.

    Shaping the pasta is the fun part

    Orecchiette are easy to shape, but each “ear” must be shaped individually, which takes a little time. The dough dries quickly, so work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a towel or plastic wrap.

    The basic method for shaping the ears is to dimple a small, flat round of dough with your thumb to make a tiny cup or ear. The key is to twist the hand holding the disk of dough, not the thumb that’s making the indentation. By the end of a batch of dough, you’ll have the technique mastered. And remember that part of orecchiette’s charm is the irregular shapes.

    Roll a golfball-size chunk of dough into a log and slice it into thin rounds. Keep the rest of the dough wrapped so it won’t dry out. A couple of swivels of your hand gives the pasta a cup shape. By pressing down with your thumb, you’ll make the center a little thinner than the rim.

    Cook right away or dry for later

    You can cook orecchiette immediately while the pasta is still moist, or you can air-dry it until it’s hard and store it for at least a couple of months. To dry the pasta, spread the rounds out on floured baking sheets and leave them at room temperature. The time they take to dry depends on humidity and the character of the dough itself, but you should let them dry at least overnight. When they’re so hard that you can’t slice them with a knife, transfer them to covered jars and store them at room temperature.

    The pasta is long-cooking, so there’s time to make sauce

    Because orecchiette don’t contain eggs and they’re made with hard flour, even a freshly made batch takes longer to cook than homemade egg pasta— about 8 minutes for fresh, 20 minutes for dried— something to keep in mind when you’re preparing the quick sauces I offer here. Orecchiette complement most sauces, but those with assertive flavors work best with the pasta’s substantial texture.

    Because orecchiette don’t contain eggs and they’re made with hard flour, even a freshly made batch takes longer to cook than homemade egg pasta— about 8 minutes for fresh, 20 minutes for dried— something to keep in mind when you’re preparing the quick sauces I offer here. Orecchiette complement most sauces, but those with assertive flavors work best with the pasta’s substantial texture. As with any pasta, use lots of vigorously boiling, generously salted water. The pasta should be cooked through but still have a firm bite. I’ve found there’s only one foolproof method for determining when orecchiette are done—taste several and taste often. When the pasta is done to your liking, drain it and immediately toss it with your sauce.


    To trim the broccoli rabe, trim off the very bottom of the stems. Starting with the bottom of the stalk, use a paring knife to peel away any tough fibers up the stalk. Cut the broccoli rabe into 2-to 3-inch pieces.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the broccoli rabe and the pasta. Add the broccoli rabe and boil until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with tongs to a colander to drain.

    Add the orecchiette to the boiling water once you start the sauce. For the sauce, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the anchovies. Cook and stir until the anchovies begin to dissolve, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 1 minute. Add the drained broccoli rabe and season with salt and the peperoncino, toss to coat the broccoli rabe in the oil. Add 1 ½ cups pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes.

    When the pasta is al dente, remove with a spider directly to the sauce. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and toss to coat, adding a little more pasta water if it seems dry. Remove the skillet from the heat.

    Recipe Summary

    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 or 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
    • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
    • Lemon wedges, for serving

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil salt generously. Add broccoli rabe. Cook until leaves are wilted, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli rabe to colander drain well.

    Return water to a boil, and add pasta cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

    Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic cook, stirring, until soft, 30 seconds, being careful not to brown. Add anchovy fillets, if using, and crushed red pepper cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli rabe cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Add pasta to broccoli rabe mixture toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water as desired. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve with Parmesan and lemon wedges.

    Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes, & Anchovy Breadcrumbs

    If I ask my husband what pasta dish he would like for dinner, I can just about guarantee that he’ll ask for orecchiette with greens. This is a typical southern Italian dish that we often enjoy, although I may vary the ingredients depending on what is seasonally available, or what I have on hand. Orecchiette is an ear shaped pasta commonly found in Puglia, one of my favorite regions in Italy. The traditional dish from Puglia is called orecchiette alle cime di rapa, although other greens can be used as an alternative to rapini. This is a great pasta shape to use with many sauces as the little ear-shaped pasta cups the sauce beautifully.

    This is my latest version of our family favorite pasta. I added fresh cherry tomatoes to the basic recipe, and then made some flavorful toasted breadcrumbs to top the pasta before serving. I love pasta that has some added texture, and I used garlic and anchovies to flavor my breadcrumbs to add extra flavor as well. I used dried orecchiette in this recipe which can be found at most grocery or specialty stores. If you are lucky enough to find fresh orecchiette, or even want to tackle making your own, fresh orecchiette would be a great option. I am not a fan of canned anchovies, but I have found that the addition of anchovies to many dishes adds a depth of flavor or umani that really brings the flavor to life without adding a “fishy” taste. If you too are not an anchovy fan, try anchovy paste in a tube which has the same flavor but is much more mellow. To make my breadcrumbs for dishes such as this one, I cube stale Italian bread and throw it into my food processor and pulse it just until it is ground. I prefer the crumbs to be larger than what you would find in the dried store bought crumbs.

    Orecchiette with broccoli rabe

    Put the water for the pasta to boil. Add salt as soon as it is boiling.

    Clean the broccoli raab, save the leaves and remove the tough stock. Put aside.

    In a large low-sided pan, sauté the garlic cut in thin slices and the chili in extra virgin olive oil. Add the 2 anchovy fillets.

    Melt the anchovies on low heat by stirring with a wooden spoon, then remove the garlic and take the pan away from the heat.

    Bring the water to boil and blanch the broccoli raab. Cook for a few minutes and drain using a slotted spoon. Cool immediately in cold water.

    Bring the water to a boil again and cook the Orecchiette pasta in it, following the instructions shown on the pack. Before draining the pasta, heat up the sauce with the anchovies and add the broccoli raab.

    When ready, add to the sauce and blend well.

    Top with a dusting of fresh pepper.

    For the shape, Orecchiette pasta tends to clump together while cooking: therefore, stir often during the first minutes of cooking time.

    Watch the video: Σουφλέ ζυμαρικών με μπρόκολο και μπέικον!! (July 2022).


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