Orecchiette, which means "little ears" (a reference to their round, concave shape), is a regional symbol of Puglia. Traditionally, orecchiette are homemade. The combination of native, hard-wheat flour, and water (instead of egg) yields a firm-textured pasta.
The orecchiette are sauced with broccoli rabe that is cooked in olive oil seasoned with garlic, red pepper flakes, and chopped anchovy. (Anchovy is often used in combination with broccoli rabe and other bitter greens because the rich, salty flavor of the anchovy mellows the bitter taste of the vegetable.) The dish is finished with grated pecorino, and, classically, with fried breadcrumbs. Crumbled sausage may be added; it also balances the bitterness of the broccoli.
The broccoli rabe is traditionally blanched in the water in which the pasta will be cooked, which serves to infuse the pasta with the flavor of the vegetable.
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Switch up the flavor profiles of your favorite dishes by adding ground lamb instead of ground beef. Broccolini looks similar to broccoli, but has longer, thinner stems and smaller florets. Recipe courtesy of the American Lamb Board.
Don’t you love recipes that can be thrown together in minutes, yet are healthful and over-the-top delicious?
This orecchiette easily fulfills all the above conditions. The tender yet robust chickpeas happily provide protein even as the copious amounts of spinach leaves lighten the load. The sweet pimentón coats everything with its seductive smokiness, while the shavings of nutty manchego cheese and the drizzle of herbaceous olive oil made with the delicate Arbequina Spanish olives bestow the perfect last touch.
Hearty, smoky, and savory, this pasta dish delivers heaps of flavor and leaves you feeling utterly satisfied.
This recipe is one of Chef Fausto Ferraresi’s favorite winter pastas. It Colatura d’Alici, a highly concentrated anchovy syrup produced in the small town of Cetara on the Amalfi coast. Colatura d’Alici and anchovies adds a lot of flavor to this meatless meal.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Fausto Ferraresi of The Leopard at Des Artistes
This dish is a riff on a delicious creation at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The salty sun-dried tomatoes, fresh and bright broccoli, and small morsels of garlicky grilled chicken combine to make a complete, flavorful meal. You can use any short pasta here — I used orecchiette, the restaurant uses conchiglie. The dish is extremely easy to put together and lends itself well to making a big batch and bringing the leftovers to work the next day for a filling and hearty lunch.
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The maple syrup in this recipe is subtle enough so that you won't feel like you're eating breakfast, but it's just the right amount of sweetness to complement the creamy sauce and hot pepper flakes.
Click here to see Cooking with Maple Syrup — 8 Recipes.
Starch from the cannellini beans helps to create a creamy, thick sauce with the chicken stock, and will make you think as if you're enjoying something indulgent. For a healthier version of this pasta, skip the sausage and add another vegetable such as onions or a spicy pepper.