italian hand made pasta

There is no better way to start the day than to wake up and find out that the weather outside is beautiful and sunny (65° F!)!

So  I and Marika went to closest beach in Lecce, where the Sunday farmers market takes place. It was a real feast with all those colorful and fresh vegetables and fruit.

I and Marika usually buy our vegetables from our favorite farmer, who only sells what he produces and what’s in season. Now it’s broccoli rabe (or turnips) season, so today he was selling his super fresh broccoli rabe. While in Lecce we eat orecchiette with tomato sauce, in the Bari area broccoli rabe are used to prepare the traditional orecchiette pasta, along with anchovies, garlic and chilly pepper (please don’t put any cheese!!).
So today we prepared the orecchiette the Bari way. This dish is called: orecchiette with cime di rapa!

italian orecchiette pasta

The broccoli rabe belong to the broccoli family, but they are different in taste and a little but more bitter.

It is very important to know that medical research demonstrated that broccoli rabe are very powerful against stomach, lung, and colon cancers, and promising research hints at protective effects against breast and prostate cancers as well.

As usual, I and Marika got excited and bought way too many broccoli rabe for our Sunday lunch!

4 servings

10oz orecchiette pasta
1lb 10oz broccoli rabe (or turnips)
1 garlic clove
chilly pepper
2 anchovy fillets
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


To make the fresh orecchiette please see this video and recipe.

Clean the fresh broccoli rabe (turnips) and cook them in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Then add fresh orecchiette pasta to the water with broccoli and cook all together for other 5 minutes until the pasta is al dente (or 10 minutes if the orecchiette are dry).

In a saucepan put the olive oil and sautè the garlic clove, the chilly pepper and the anchovies (cut in small pieces) just for 2 minutes.

italian orecchiette with cime di rapa

Drain the pasta and broccoli rabe and add them to the saucepan. Add the breadcrumbs on top and sautè the pasta for about 2 minutes. Because of the anchovies in Puglia we don’t add any cheese. Serve when still warm!