Orecchiette e Broccoli

One comes across many different types of pasta here in Italy; each region has its own variety which is prepared  in a unique manner. Each and everyone one of them seems special.

Not too long ago whilst having dinner at a friend’s house in Madrid someone mentioned how pasta was always the same to them…with maybe a different sauce. To my own astonishment; and to that of my friends, I felt very offended. That is when i realized my Italian food education was really starting to kick in.

Obviously today’s recipe is about pasta and of course a very special kind of pasta: Orecchiette.


The name Orecchiette  comes from orecchio meaning small ear. It is a kind of home-made pasta typical of Puglia, a region in southern Italy. I bought a packet a couple of weeks back at the Mercato delle erbe (one of Bologna’s biggest food markets) and had been wondering what to do with it. Of course, there are a million ways to prepare Orecchiette, typically with cime di rapa (turnip tops). However this time, I decided to go for another very popular version, and more season appropriate: one with Broccoli and peperoncino.

Here is how I did it:


2oo grams of Orecchiette (100 grams per person), 2 garlic cloves, Broccoli, Peperoncino(a fresh spicy red pepper), anchovies and some Parmigiano.

Finely cut the Peperoncino, smash the cloves of garlic and put them together in a pan on a low fire with olive oil. Add the anchovies and let them melt. At last add the Broccoli finely cut and  stir fry for approximately 20 minutes.

At the same time put some water to boil, add some salt and once it is boiling add the Orecchiette. Depending on their thickens they should take approximately 10 minutes to boil.

Here are some pictures:



Dig in!



6 thoughts on “Orecchiette e Broccoli

  1. I so agree with what you say – I too have come across folk who think pasta is a bit…well…boring. Hopefully I have educated them that it’s not just about indifferent tomato sauce! Love this recipe and I love orecchiette…I ate them for the first time as a young girl in Calabria with my aunties and I remember how excited I was to find a new pasta 🙂

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