Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovies and Tomatoes, is a dish that captures the essence of Italian cuisine – simple yet bold, comforting yet exciting.
Originating from the southern region of Puglia, orecchiette, which means “little ears” in Italian, is a type of pasta appreciated for its unique shape.
Its ear-like, concave structure allows it to hold sauces and ingredients, capturing every drop of flavor. Its characteristic shape is perfect for all kinds of seasoning such as tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes for example or basil pesto.
When combined with the robust flavor of broccoli, the savory flavor of anchovies, and the juicy sweetness of tomatoes, this dish takes on a whole new level of culinary appeal.
Preparing Orecchiette with Broccoli and Anchovies is a testament to the simplicity and beauty of Italian cooking.
The ingredients are readily available and the recipe itself is easy to follow, making it an ideal choice for novice and experienced cooks alike.
In this article, we will take you through the step-by-step process of creating this delicious pasta dish, exploring the subtleties of each ingredient and uncovering the secrets behind achieving the perfect balance of flavors.
Join us on this gastronomic journey as we unlock the magic behind Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovies and Tomatoes and discover the joy of tasting this exquisite Italian classic.
- Prep Time: 10 Min
- Cook Time: 20 Min
- Servings: 4
- 350 g (3/4 pound) of orecchiette pasta. You can try making handmade orecchiette at home by following our recipe “How to Make Homemade Orecchiette“. Or try De Cecco’s orecchiette pasta. Remember that the cooking time is different for fresh and dried pasta.
- 200 g (about 7 oz) of broccoli florets
- 10 cherry or grape tomatoes. We chose small tomatoes because they are usually tastier. But you can use any tomatoes you like.
- 2 anchovy fillets in oil
- 4 tablespoons of EVO oil
- 1 garlic clove
- grated ricotta salata or pecorino Romano (optional)
- fine salt to taste
Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovies and Cherry Tomatoes: Instructions
Step 1) – To make orecchiette with broccoli, anchovies and tomatoes, wash the tomatoes thoroughly. Then cut them into small pieces or slices.
Wash the broccoli as well. Use only the broccoli florets, which are softer and more flavorful.
Step 2) – Using a fairly large non-stick frying pan, sauté the garlic clove, halved, in the oil. You can even finely chop the garlic if you prefer.
Add the anchovy fillets and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes.
We recommend only two anchovy fillets for 4 people so as not to overpower the flavor of the broccoli and tomatoes. You can increase the amount if you prefer.
When the anchovies are melted and crumbled, add the tomatoes. Turn up the heat and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. At the end, taste the sauce and add fine salt to taste if necessary. Then set aside.
Step 3) – Meanwhile, fill the pasta pot with water and add the broccoli florets. Bring to a boil and add the coarse salt.
Finally, add the orecchiette. The orecchiette will cook with the broccoli.
Watch the cooking time! In fact, fresh orecchiette need 4-5 minutes, while packaged dry orecchiette need 8-9 minutes if you prefer them al dente, otherwise 10-11 minutes.
READ: How to Cook Fresh Pasta
Step 4) – Drain the orecchiette with broccoli using a skimmer. Place them in a bowl for the dressing.
Add the tomato sauce. If you have kept the garlic whole, do not forget to remove it.
Step 5) – Finally, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and toss.
You can serve the orecchiette with broccoli, anchovies and tomatoes with a generous amount of grated pecorino romano or ricotta salata.
YOUM MUST ALSO TRY:
- Roasted Crispy Broccoli with Parmigiano Reggiano and Garlic
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes
- Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe
- Bombette Pugliesi: Easy Italian Meat Rolls
If you have leftover Pasta with Broccoli, Anchovies and Tomatoes, transfer the pasta to an airtight container. A glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid works well. Make sure the container is clean and dry before adding the pasta.
Once everything is in the container, seal it tightly and place it in the refrigerator. The pasta will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
When you’re ready to enjoy your stored pasta, you can heat it up in a number of ways:
Microwave: Place a portion of the pasta in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway, until heated through.
Stovetop: Heat a small amount of olive oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the orecchiette and re-heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Oven: Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Transfer the pasta to a baking dish, sprinkle generously with grated pecorino cheese and bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through.
Orecchiette: Dialect Names Curiosities
In Apulia there are several ways to call this particular type of fresh pasta: “recchie or recchietelle” (it: “orecchio” en: “ear”) for their shape that vaguely resembles that of an ear; “chianchiarelle” if they are smaller in size; “pociacche” if they are of a larger size.
There are also flat orecchiette called “strascinate” (it: “trascinare” en: “to drag”) that are only dragged with the knife on the pastry board and not turned on themselves as to make orecchiette recipe.