Orecchiette with broccoli, anchovies and peperoncino

Updated: Feb 25

It is great how many things out there you still don’t know.

The richness we can find in food is definitely big and everyday is a learning day.

Orecchiette is not a traditional shape of pasta from our region and when we were younger supermarkets were also not bringing all the shapes we all know now.

So, it happened that we started eating orecchiette when we moved here in Glasgow.

There was a little Italian coffee shop in the West end and the owner is originally from Puglia, where this shape of pasta is originally from. We have been lucky then to try how they do in there, with one of the most famous recipes.

Because it is difficult to find the original turnips, we made a little change with something similar to that and used broccoli instead.

The recipe is simple, quick, not expensive and can be turn vegan just removing the anchovies.

INGREDIENTS ( for 2 people- generous)

250 gr of Orecchiette pasta

2 cloves of garlic

5 or 6 anchovies fillets

1 medium broccolo, around 350-400 gr

Extra virgin olive oil


Coarse sea salt for pasta (approx. 1 spoon)

Sea salt

In a large pan put some olive oil to warm up and place two cloves of garlic and 3/4 anchovies fillets to cook slowly.

Now wash your broccoli thoroughly. You can start chopping your broccoli removing the leaves and cut the florets free from the stalk in little pieces.

Once done that, you can cook them in boiling water to soften up for around 5 minutes. * After this little trick, you can take them out from the boiling water and stir fry in the pan for around ten minutes.

Do not allow them to lose their vivid green colour cooking them too much.

In a pasta pan, bring your water to boil, add your coarse sea salt and cook the pasta following pack instructions. Once pasta is ready move it to the pan with the broccoli with the help of a pasta spoon. Always remember to add two spoons of hot water, so the pasta is not dry.

Let absorb the flavours for couple of minutes.

*For a creamier result, once the broccoli are soften up from the hot water, remove half of them and put in a blender with 50 gr of parmesan cheese and a spoon of hot water. Add this cream in the big pan with the pasta!

Serve piping hot and enjoy!