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Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa

  • Feeds 3 - 4 people
  • Prep time 15m
  • Cook time 15m

This classic Puglian dish is the first place we turn once cime de rapa comes into season. These bitter stalks and leaves are highly prized in Italy, but are harder to find in the UK. We can’t get enough of them! This is a classic version of the dish, using anchovies, chilli and garlic. Some crispy breadcrumbs would also be lovely on top.

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. In a large frying pan, add the anchovies (including their oil) and garlic. Cook gently, breaking the anchovies down with a wooden spoon. After a minute or two, the anchovies should have dissolved nicely. Add the chilli flakes.
  3. Lift the pasta out of the water using a slotted spoon or pasta claw and put it straight into the garlic pan. Some water will come with it, which is what you want.
  4. Add the cime di rapa to the pasta water, bring back to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir and toss the pasta, moving it around the pan until everything is well coated and glossy. You may need to add a splash more pasta water to make sure everything is nicely coated.
  6. Lift the cime di rapa out of the water and add to the pasta pan, mixing well. Add more water if necessary, until the dish is well sauced.
  7. To serve, plate the pasta and top with a swirl of olive oil and some shaved Pecorino or Parmesan.

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