Orecchiette alle cime di rape
This is a traditional Apulian dish typically made during the period between October and March, when you can find these wild turnip greens. The equivalent period here in Australia is between March and September. This dish comes from Italy’s “povera cucina” tradition, but can now be found in many restaurants.
• 500g fresh broccoli rabe or rapini
• 320g orecchiette pasta
• 1 chilli
• 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 4 anchovies
• 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Wash the greens in plenty of water. Cut the leaves and remove the florets, discarding at least 5 centimetres of the stalk, or the hard and fibrous part.
2. Pour 100 ml of oil into a pan and place over low heat. When the oil is hot, add the breadcrumbs. Stir with a wooden spoon or until golden brown. Set aside on a plate.
3. Cook the greens in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving the water in the pot.
4. Add the orecchiette to the boiling water and cook according to packet instructions (if fresh, 3 to 4 minutes are enough).
5. Add the greens back into the pot and remove from heat. Drain the pasta and greens.
6. Three minutes before the pasta is cooked, heat oil in a large pan over low heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and chilli. Cook until aromatic.
7. Add the anchovies and let them dissolve in the oil.
8. Add the drained pasta and greens to the fry pan and toss over high heat for 30 seconds.
9. Serve the pasta on plates and sprinkle with the fried breadcrumbs. Buon appetito!