CLASSIC pasta orecchiette con le came di rapa
(broccoli rabe)
         

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Orecchiette (little ears) are the basic pasta dish of the Puglia region. And orchiette with some form of broccoli is, rightfully, their most famous dish. It is another excellent and satisfying combination of a pasta with a vegetable.

You can buy or make your own orecchiette. For home-made: see how to make your own egg pasta. Rather than using just all-purpose flour, use half white flour and half wheat flour or semolina. When you have come to the step of having a ball of well-kneaded dough, divide the dough into four pieces. Roll each of the pieces into a sausage shape, about a half-inch in diameter. Just slice this sausage into one-quarter to one-half inch slices. You now have a lot of little round buttons, or coins. Press your thumb gently into the center of each of these little coins. Wiggle your thumb a little to get a really good impression into the coin.

>>for a similar pasta with broccoli see orecchiette with broccoli.

for the sauce:

  • four garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • six anchovy filets (sometimes optional)
  • one-half cup olive oil
  • one pound of broccoli rabe
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

for the pasta:

  • one pound Italian-made orecchiette, preferably made with semolina

Chop the tough stems off the broccoli rabe, (1) and discard any tough leaves. Then roughly chop.

Put the olive oil into a saute pan, add the garlic, over medium heat until it just starts to sizzle. Add the pinch of red pepper flakes, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and several grinds of the pepper mill, Then add the anchovy fillets (don't let the pan get too hot). Cook and stir until the anchovies are dissolved.

Now for a change of pace: get five quarts of water up to a raging boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Add the orecchiette. (2) When the water returns to a big boil about two minutes, add the chopped broccoli rabe to the same water. Let them boil together! (3)

When the orecchiette is al dente, drain the mixture well. (4) Put into a warmed serving dish, add the flavored anchovy oil, and stir and mix well (5). Test for salt and pepper (6). Serve.

 


 

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