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Orecchiette With Broccoli

Puglian Orecchiette with Broccoli

This recipe from the Puglian region of Southern Italy is absolutely delicious.  Flavored with anchovies, often used in southern Italian cooking, it is savory and also a bit spicy due to the addition of red pepper flakes or chilies! 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 crown broccoli medium to large
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets with oil
  • ½ ts red chili flakes can also sub a couple of your favorite chilies!
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 16 oz orecchiette pasta
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese grated


  • Cut the broccoli crown into bite sized pieces
    chopped broccoli
  • Heat up your olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet, then add minced garlic and stir fry on med heat for 1 minute
  • Add your anchovy fillets, with some of the oil that the fillets were packed in.  Stir fry for 2 minutes, or until the anchovies have "melted"
    Anchovies, Red Chili Flakes, Broccoli, Garlic, and Parmesan
  • Add red chili flakes (or a couple of your favorite minced chilies), stir, and keep warm on a very low setting
  • Boil pasta water in a large pot, and prepare your orecchiette according to package directions.  PLEASE NOTE:  You will need to reserve approximately 1 cup of the pasta water, collected at or near the end of the time when the pasta is finished cooking 
  • 3-4 minutes before your pasta is finished cooking, add the broccoli pieces into the boiling pasta water 
    broccoli and orecchiette on a ladle
  • When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the broccoli and the pasta.  REMEMBER:  You will need to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water just prior to draining the broccoli and pasta
  • Add the cooked broccoli and orecchiette to your anchovy, garlic, red pepper (or chilies), and olive oil mixture, and stir
  • Start adding the reserved pasta water a little at a time and continue stirring.  This helps make a smooth sauce and prevents the pasta from sticking! 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste


Feel free to substitute broccoli rabe for the broccoli crown.
Top your Orecchiette with Broccoli with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.  Serve with a side salad and a glass of Italian Pinot Grigio for an amazing meal, and enjoy the taste of Puglia!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!