Orecchiette with Broccoli rabe

“Broccoli rabe is a flower-shaped vegetable from Southern Italy known for its slightly bitter taste and highly nutritional value. It is in season during both spring and autumn time. It can be substituted with either broccoli, cauliflowers, cabbage, pak choi or garden cress, using the exact same cooking method. It is best blanched in salted boiling water before sautéing in olive oil with chilli pepper and garlic. This is a typical Puglian recipe that you would find in all households, religiously following the below method. Go on, make it yours.” – Eleonora

Italia Primitivo is available from Morrisons and Nisa stores, mini bottles also available from Waitrose

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 2 handfuls of rock salt
  • 3 cups/300g greens broccoli, spinach or chard
  • 400g orecchiette pasta
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 anchovies in olive oil (plus two for decoration)
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes

Bring a big pot filled with water to boil. Add the salt first, then the greens. Let them blanch for about 7 minutes, then drain them with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Next, cook the pasta in the same water until almost al dente – usually this is about 3 minutes less than the cooking time suggested on the packet.

Meanwhile, heat the oil with the garlic in a non-stick frying pan for about 3 minutes, then add the two anchovies, together with the cooked greens. Finally add in the chilli flakes, along with a ladle of starchy cooking water from the pasta and stir.

Drain the pasta and combine it immediately with sauce, sautéing everything together in the pan for two minutes.

Divide the pasta into four bowls and serve, decorating each dish with an anchovy on top.

Perfect with:
This rich, warm Primitivo wine has been paired with this green, spicy orecchiette dish as a winning combination in the Puglia region for centuries.

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