The Country Cooking of Italy's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

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[Photograph: Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer]

Preparing a pasta dish in the time it takes for the pasta itself to cook is a skill that everyone should possess. It's a path to quick and satisfying home cooked dinners even on the most hectic of evenings. The key to this knowledge come from a very Italian way of cooking, minimal in labor with a heavy reliance on the most thoughtfully sourced and paired ingredients.

This bowl of Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe from Colman Andrews' The Country Cooking of Italy is a lovely example of that beautiful minimalism. The pasta and rabe cook in the same pot, coming together in a sizzling pan of anchovies and olive oil. The rest is merely a matter of tossing, plating, and choosing whether to serve with toasty breadcrumbs or salty-crumbly ricotta salata.

Reprinted with permission from The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews. Copyright © 2012. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

The Country Cooking of Italy's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 to 6
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (250 grams) broccoli rabe, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 pound (500 grams) orecchiette
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • Pepper
  • Grated ricotta salata or toasted bread crumbs, homemade or commercial, for serving

Procedures

  1. 1

    Put the broccoli rabe into a large pot of salted cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. When it is boiling, raise the heat to high and add the orecchiette. Cook until the pasta is al dente, 8 to 12 minutes.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, heat together the oil and anchovy fillets in a small pan over medium heat.

  3. 3

    When the pasta is ready, drain it and the greens and transfer them to a warmed serving bowl. Pour the anchovy oil over the top and season generously with pepper; if necessary, add a little salt. Pass the cheese at the table.

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