Recipe #2 in my new vegitalian series
Making pasta at home can seem like a real drag, especially if it involves making hundreds of hand-shaped creations, like tortellini or orecchiette. However, the moment you put the first one in your mouth will dispel all doubt. The taste and texture, coupled with the tremendous feeling of self satisfaction, will have you reaching for the flour and apron before you’ve even finished what is on your plate.
I first learned to make orecchiette with Matilde Guido in her kitchen in Lecce, Puglia. Since then I’ve been practising my technique and experimenting with the combination of flours.
Orecchiette are, perhaps most famously, served with cime di rape, usually called turnip tops in English. The are, however, the buds, leaves, and bright-yellow flowers of the brassica rapa sylvestris plant. The buds look like broccoli, although they are not related, and in Rome they are called broccoletti because of this. In Naples they are known as friarelli.
Like all classics, this is a really simple dish where the resulting taste is much more than the sum of its parts. I’m including my recipe for orecchiette here, but not the technique which you can find online in videos such as this one from Pasta Grannies. Better still, as soon as the lock-down is over, book a weekend at Matilde’s house—she does B&B—and learn to make them from her directly.
For the pasta: 200g (2 cups) semola di grano duro 100g (1 cup) 00 flour water For the condiment: 2 large bunches of cime di rapa 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, peeled 1 red bird's eye chilli, finely chopped salt
For the pasta:
200g (2 cups) semola di grano duro
100g (1 cup) 00 flour
For the condiment:
2 large bunches of cime di rapa
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 red bird's eye chilli, finely chopped
6 thoughts on “Orecchiette alle cime di rapa (recipe)”
One of my favourite types of pasta … and one of the best dishes – so simple but so delicious!
Isn’t it just? I could eat it every day.
thank you for the explanation of cime di rapa. i didn’t realise that was what friarelli were. i love the stuff.
Not being Neapolitan, I always assumed friarelli were the same as frigitelli (green peppers similar to padron peppers) until a friend from Naples put me right. It can be really confusing that different regions have different names, but then they were different countries until just over 150 years ago.
Goodness that looks yummy.
It’s a classic for a reason 🙂 Can’t wait to make it again.