Orecchiette alle cime di rapa

An Italian Classic, from the South of Italy, and more precisely from Puglia, the heel of the peninsula.

And as most of the traditional Italian dishes is simple, satisfying and tasty 🙂

In the list of ingredients, in parenthesis, you can find not so traditional substitutes, as I’m afraid most of the ingredients are difficult to find outside Italian borders.


250 g fresh orecchiette (or 200 g dry orecchiette, or 200 g durum wheat short pasta, such as penne or rigatoni)

1 kg turnip tops (or 400 g broccoli)

2 garlic cloves

Extra virgin olive oil

4 to 6 anchovy fillets in oil

Pecorino, grated

Chilli pepper, as much as you like

For 2 people

  1. In a big pan bring to the boil a lot of water (at least 4-5 litres).
  2. Clean the turnip tops: keep only the sprouts and the most tender leaves and stalks. Wash them under fresh water.
  3. When the water is boiling, salt it generously (take a look at my post on how to cook pasta). Let it boil again.
  4. in a big saucepan (it has to contain your cooked pasta too), add 2 tablespoons of oil and the peeled and crashed garlic cloves. Let them fry a little, then add the anchovy fillets.
  5. Add the turnip tops and let it cook until the pasta is cooked al dente.
  6. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it al dente, even harder, as it will go for a few minutes in the pan with the turnip tops.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked properly, drain it and add it suddenly to the pan with the turnip tops.
  8. With a wooden spoon, keep turning all the contents of the pan for a few minutes.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish, top with some more olive oil, grated pecorino and chilli pepper.
  10. Serve right away!

Orecchiette alle cime di rapa