Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

by a Pugliese friend

You might enjoy this dish on one of our tours in Puglia or in one of our cooking classes and dinners in Massachusetts. This recipe is the result of conversations with different housewives, chefs, restaurateurs and food lovers from the region!


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 454 gr (1 lb) of orecchiette pasta
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt
  • 200 gr of broccoli rabe (usually sold in 1 bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 fillets of anchovies (best stored in olive oil.) For a vegan or vegetarian version you can omit this ingredient
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes



  • Wash the broccoli rabe and cut off the stems close to where they begin to branch out (I use the stems for soups)
  • Boil broccoli rabe in water for 5 minutes. When done, drain (saving the water!) 
  • Peel and sauté the garlic (finely minced or whole, your choice) in a pan over medium flame in 2 Tsp of EVOO until light brown
  • Add the anchovies and melt them over low flame 
  • To adjust consistency of the sauce and make it smoother add 1-2 Tbsp of water (the water you saved previously)
  • Then add the brocoli rabe, red pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes
  • Take the rest of the water you have been saving, bring it to a boil and add salt
  • Add the pasta (the water should taste slightly salty. If not, add more salt)
  • Cook the pasta for one minute less than is suggested on the package
  • Taste the pasta before draining it to confirm "al dente."
  • Sauté the drained pasta with the sauce for a minute, and add the remaining EVOO


Buon appetito!

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