Friday, November 4, 2011

Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa (Orecchiette alle cime di rapa)

This new recipe is dedicated to my friend and best Italian guitarist ever, Rocco Zifarelli... Rocco ecco le tue 'recchiett' cim' d' rap'....  :-)  This recipe is from Puglia where "Cime di Rape" are originally from. There is no English translation for "Cime di rapa", it is a vegetable from the same family as Broccoli, but with a different taste, green leaves and a small flower which looks like a small broccoli.

 Cima di Rapa isn't an easy veggie to find in Northern Europe, but at this time of the year sometimes I am very lucky to come accross in my favourite Moroccan grocery shop. Yesterday it was my lucky day. So today I can finally propose this fantastic traditional recipe to you all. I made fresh Orecchiette (a traditional handmade pasta from Puglia, shaped as a small ear, from this his name) myself, but you can easily find dried Orecchiette pasta in every Italian grocery shops, or you can wait and learn how to make it in one of my next posts, or if you live in Belgium/ NL you can participate to one of my Pasta making workshops, dates will be published soon... stay tuned!

Serving 4
400g Fresh (or dried) Orecchiette Pasta
1kg Cime di rapa
5Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves
1 Italian red hot Chili
2 Achovies
Salt to taste

Clean the Cime di rapa, taking out the hard branches and keeping only the tender leaves and flowers.

Wash them well and give a short boil in a big pan full of salted boiling water.

After only few minutes of cooking, drain the cime di rapa in a small colander and keep the cooking water to cook the pasta.

Let cool the Cime di rapa.

When cool cut them in small pieced, finely cut garlic, anchovies and chili pepper. Bring back to a boil the Cime di rapa cooking water.

Pour the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlinc, anchovies and chili. let them fry for few seconds.

Add the Cime di rapa. The water must be now boiling, add the Orecchiette.

If you use hand made fresh Orecchiette you have to know that they are cooked when coming at the surface. If you use normal dried Orecchiette pasta, follow the cooking instruction but always take them out very "al dente": the pasta will finish his cooking  in the sauce pan. Always reserve a cup of the cooking water.

Add the pasta in the pan, mix very good, melt all the ingredients well. If needed add a spoon of cooking water.

Taste for salt. Your Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa are now ready to be served.

Serve warm, add some additional chili if you like it very hot. Buon appetito!

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