Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe {Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa)

A simple, quick, healthy, and delicious traditional pasta dish from the region of Puglia in Italy. 
Course Primo
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 bunch Broccoli rabe
  • 3-4 Anchovies
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 400 grams Orecchiette
  • Salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste


  • Heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes, and anchovies over low heat in a saucepan. 
  • Prep the broccoli rabe by cutting off the thickest part of the stalks. Separate the flowers (the part resembling a small broccoli) from the leaves. 
  • Fill a large pot with water, and bring it to a boil. Then add about 1 tbsp of sea salt. 
  • Blanche the flowers first for 2-4 minutes depending on their size. Then blanche the leaves until for approximately 5 minutes until tender. 
  • Using the same pot,  bring the water back to a boil and cook the orecchiette according to the package directions. 
  • While the pasta is cooking, saute the broccoli rabe in the oil mixture. 
  • Cook the pasta until al dente and then add it to the broccoli rabe. And if you dare "jump" (saltare) the pasta in the pan (aka toss the pasta). Otherwise, you can mix the broccoli rabe & pasta together until well combined. Buon appetito!  


  • Try it with the anchovies. Seriously!