The Country Cooking of Italy's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

The Country Cooking of Italy's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

The following recipe is from the June 20 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

[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.

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


  • 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


  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.