Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Broccoli orecchiette

The second broccoli glut is upon us and a wonderful 
early spring thing it is.

Today I picked three (small) heads of broccoli. They are smaller than the first crop earlier this season, but tight and tasty and firm.

I think I might have mentioned the lad's part Italian genes?  Well I suggested orecchiette as a natural accompaniment to broccoli  and, with a flick of hard pasta flour, down to work he went. 

The recipe came from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion, handily  listed under, you guessed it,  broccoli. 

Broccoli Orecchiette
As almost always we varied the recipe, so our version appears below.

300 g plain flour - we used hard pasta flour
3 egg
ground pepper

Mix ingredients and knead till it comes together.  Rest and re-work and form into thinnish sausage-like rolls. Cut into small pieces and form 'ears' by pressing the small piece of dough in the palm of your hand. 

The original recipe included ricotta but we didn't have any so we omitted it. This may have been a fatal mistake! Boil water and add pasta to boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from pot and drain.

Broccoli accompaniment ( *from the garden)
olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 rasher of bacon
6 anchovy fillets
2 chillies*

Cut broccoli into florets and steam lightly. Keep aside.  Add bacon to a frying pan and cook on until the colour starts to brown.  Add garlic and saute, and then add anchovies and melt. Add broccoli and chilli and combine. Tip in drained pasta , add butter and parmesan and mix.  Serve.

This was delicious, but the pasta was a little heavy. It would have benefited from lightening with the ricotta.
But the combination of broccoli, the saltiness of bacon and anchovies, the vigour of garlic and chilli makes this pretty delicious.


  1. I make a version of this with penne and olives instead of bacon. Great isn't it?

    1. Yum, I like your version too. I guess the olives add much the same saltiness. And it is so great with the freshest of broccoli.

  2. It never occurred to me that shaping orecchiette was so easy. I will have to give it a go sometime soon. Thanks for the recipe :)

    1. The original uses less egg and 100gms of ricotta in the pasta mix. I'd recommend trying that. Good luck

  3. I have never thought to make that little ear pasta but it is my son's favorite so I must give it a go.

    1. Oh you must! It is easy,and I reckon a young person would enjoy making them but I think it would have been so much better if the ricotta had been added. Is it you who makes ricotta?



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