Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Orecchiette with Rapini ( brocoletti di rape)

 My mom's rapini with fried garlic recipe was one of my first posts. It was a vegetable I grew up eating, and which to this day remains my family's favourite. I took some liberty with my mom's basic recipe by adding fresh tomatoes and white wine to the rapini before tossing in orecchiette pasta, which literally means "little ears".
For additional photos illustrating the preparation of the rapini I invite you to visit my March 10, 2010 post

Orecchiette Pasta....pronounced: oh-rech-ee-Et-tay

250 grams/ 1/2 lb.orecchiette pasta
1 bunch rapini
4 tablespoons extra virgin oil
3-4 garlic cloves sliced
1/4 tsp chili flakes or more if desired
2 cups  cherry tomatoes cut into wedges
1/2 cup white wine
salt to taste
grated pecorino or parmesan cheese

 In a large pot boil enough salted water (6-8 cups) to cook the pasta al dente (11 minutes or according to pkg. instructions). Drain before adding to the prepared rapini.

While the water is boiling for the pasta start prepping the rapini. Begin by washing the rapini and cutting about an 1 inch off the stem. To allow for more even cooking with a knife, split about 1-2 inches down the center of the lower part of the rapini stem. This allows for more even cooking  Wash the rapini under cold water and drain. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. I add salt to the boiling water as you would do, when cooking pasta. 

Drop the rapini in the salted boiling water and cook for about 1-2 minutes until "a la dente".

Remove the rapini from the boiling water and place  immediately in a large bowl filled with ice water (this will stop the cooking process and help retain the deep green colour of the rapini).

Strain and remove the excess water by wringing the rapini with your hands

Cut into 3 pieces and set aside.

In a frying pan heat the oil and add the garlic slices and red chili flakes. Saute the garlic until a golden colour.

Add the rapini, away from the sizzling oil as it tends to splatter, and continue cooking on medium heat  to infuse the flavours, for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Toss in the  tomatoes and continue cooking an additional minute.

Add the wine and simmer for until reduced about 3 minutes.

Toss in the cooked pasta and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

Serve with extra grated parmesan or pecorino cheese and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.  Serves 2-4


  1. I adore orecchiette...and this looks like such a fabulous way to use my favorite pasta shape. Healthy and flavorful!

  2. yumm.... we don't get rapini here, any suggestion to replace it?

  3. Thanks Lizzy. You are so right, this humble dish is delicious and packed with vitamins.

    Ami, I believe that Kai-lan(Chinese broccoli)
    would be a good replacement. The dish is also delicious with regular broccoli.

  4. This is the 2nd rapini recipe I have read today - I am so in the mood for this and it is nowhere to be found. Wishing it grew wild in MN.

  5. lil ears?? how cute; they do look like tht. a very interesting dish done up by the addition of your white wine!

  6. Anna, I absolutely love rapini. Like you, I grew up eating it with garlic and some chili flakes. Pairing it with pasta is so delicious and its a great meal!

  7. What a beautiful recipe and love your adjustments...Simply delicious and gorgeous!