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Orecchiette con cime di rapa
Photo: newscucina.it

Orecchiette con cime di rapa

Orecchiette con cime di rapa

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa is a traditional Puglian dish passed down through generations. It is a regional treasure made from local and inexpensive ingredients synonymous with many Puglian dishes.
Orecchiette, also known as “little ears” pasta, is a small disk-shaped pasta that originates from the Puglia region in southern Italy. Cime di Rapa is the turnip top commonly referred to as broccoli rabe in the United States.

Cime di rapa and orecchiette are a match made in heaven. The crunchy, bitter leaves of the cime di Rapa contrast with the soft pasta, which absorbs all its flavour. This is one of those dishes that doesn't require a lot of attention; all you have to do is chop up some cime di Rapa and garlic, toss them with some pasta, drizzle over some oil and then add some chilli.

Preparing Orecchiette con cime di rapa

As mentioned above, the Orecchiette con cime di rapa is an easy dish to cook. You'll need a few basic kitchen tools and ingredients for this orecchiette recipe. Here is a list of what you'll need:
  • A large pot or pasta pot to boil the pasta
  • A large frying pan or a large pot to make the sauce
  • A colander or pasta strainer to drain the pasta
  • A large bowl or a serving dish
  • A serving spoon or spatula
  • A wooden spoon
  • A sharp knife
  • A cutting board


  • 250g of Orecchiette (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1kg cime di Rapa
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 anchovies
  • ½ chilli pepper
  • Salt


  • Start by making the orecchiette (if you are going with the homemade version). Cook the orecchiette in salted boiling water and set aside
  • For the sauce, separate the leaves and florets of the time di Rapa from the stems and wash.
  • Add the leaves and florets to a pot of boiling salted water and allow to boil for about 5 minutes until almost tender.
  • Add the cooked orecchiette to the cime di Rapa and allow to boil together until al dente
  • While waiting for the pasta to cook, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, chilli pepper, anchovies and garlic; cook for about 2 minutes until garlic turns golden brown.
  • When the orecchiette and cime di Rapa cooks, remove the pasta from the water and add it to the frying pan. Add a bit of the pasta water to the frying pan and stir the mixture gently on medium heat. Stir until the sauce coats the orecchiette evenly.
  • Take the pan off the heat and serve your orecchiette con cime di Rapa with a drizzle of olive oil.

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa is a great dish to make as a side dish or a main dish if you want something wholesome and delicious. It also makes a great dish to make for lunch on a Sunday afternoon with your family or loved ones.