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Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette with broccoli rabe is one of the signature pasta dishes from Apulia, city of Bari in particular.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb fresh orecchiette pasta OR 12 oz dry orecchiette
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (rapini)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • Pinch peperoncino (chili flakes ½ inch fresh hot pepper)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Put a large pot of water to boil.
  • In the meantime, wash broccoli rabe under cold running water.
  • Remove all yellow and dull leaves. Trim off the bottoms of the stems to remove tough and fibrous parts.
  • If some of the stems are still thick don’t cut them off further but split the end with a knife until the stems thins out a bit. This will ensure your greens are cooked evenly. Chop coarsely.
  • Once water is boiling add salt and broccoli rabe. Reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Past that time add orecchiette pasta and cook until pasta is “al dente”. Verify cooking time on the directions on the package.
  • Dry pasta cooks longer!
  • While pasta and broccoli rabe are cooking prepare the sauce.
  • In a large skillet pan add a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil, pinch of peperoncino (or fresh hot pepper), garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife and anchovy fillets.
  • Cook on medium low heat stirring continuously. The sauce is ready once garlic becomes fragrant and anchovy fillets are dissolved. Remove garlic (optional). Turn off the heat.
  • Drain pasta with broccoli rabe.
  • Add it to a pan with the sauce. Turn on the heat and toss everything for a couple of minutes until all the flavors combine.