Thursday, October 25, 2007

Presto Pasta Night #35

For this weeks Presto Pasta Night I've once again raided the pasta shop at the market and got hold of some fresh Orecchiette.


This seems like the perfect opportunity to try that classic Puglian pairing of Orecchiette and Cime di Rapa - although this is my version and shouldn't be mistaken for the original.

Cime di Rapa

Cime di Rapa go by many names Broccoletti, Broccoli Rabe, Raab, Rappi and Rapini though they refer to the same thing, a green spiky leaf with small broccoli florets.

When buying these Cime di Rapa I made use of a very important lesson I've learnt in life - always do what little old Italian ladies tell you. I had only wanted one bunch but she was very certain that one would not be enough as once you strip the leaves and boil it up there's nothing left. I did my best to resist but I soon relented.

In this version I've added a little onion and prosciutto cubes just to give the dish a bit more substance and stuck with the southern influence and used finely grated Pecorino.

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa/Orecchiette with Cime di Rapa

Cime di Rapa, leaves stripped and stems discarded
1 onions, finely sliced
smalls cubes of Prosciutto
salt and freshly ground pepper
finely grated Pecorino

Parboil the Cime di Rapa to reduce their volume, drain and squeeze well to release all the water and set aside.

Place a little oil and butter into a skillet over a medium heat and when the butter has melted add the prosciutto cubes.

Cook until the cubes have coloured, reduce the heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring regularly until the onion has softened and started to colour.

When boiling the Orecchiette, add the Cime di Rapa to the pot to finish their cooking. When done, drain and add to the skillet along with a small handful of grated Pecorino.

Cook over a high heat, stirring constantly to allow the flavours to amalgamate - season with a little salt and pepper if desired, it will depend on the spice level of the Prosciutto.

Serve onto a plate with another generous sprinkling of the grated Pecorino.

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa

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  1. Looks absolutely perfect! Always listen to little old ladies - especially at the market. Unless they're trying for that last bunch of asparagus in your hand, they'll always be right!

  2. Mmmm. I love orechiette. Gorgeous recipe. I'm also a big believer in following the advice of old ladies. It's how I've learnt to choose many fruit and vegetables - bitter melon, jackfruit, durian, as well as eggplants and cavalo nero.

  3. Haalo, I've tried this pairing before and it's delicious and supringly filling. You have good taste!

  4. Beautiful, I have never tried yet orechiette.

    Enjoy your day, Margot

  5. Gorgeous as usual. I love your combo and definitely will be taking the little old lady's advice. Thanks for sharing with PResto Pasta Night.

  6. I've never tried Broccoli Rabe....could you describe it's flavor? Is it similar to broccoli or more like greens?

  7. What a great combo!! Mmmmmm! I can taste it now!!

  8. Man, I love Orechiette. And that recipe looks great. Personally, I serve orechiette with wine from Orvieto... no real reason, just dig the name similarities!

  9. Your fresh orechiette looks terrific.


  10. This looks so good! I do something similar, replacing the pasta with cannellini beans, and the prosciutto with either pancetta or bacon, little splash of lemon juice at the end. Will have to try your version next...

  11. I just can't believe it Haalo. You are in vacation and you still manage to cook some delicious pasta and other dishes. You're my hero.

  12. Thanks Katie - little old italian ladies do know how to use guilt like an artform

    Thanks Kathryn -so true.

    Thanks Peter.

    Thanks Margot - will do!

    I have one waiting in Florence just for you Patricia!

    Thanks Ruth - as always, a pleasure

    Hi Nabeela - it's a little more bitter than say spinach or chard and the older it gets it becomes even more bitter. The blanching helps to eliminate some of this bitterness but if you use younger leaves and avoid the stalk it does make for a pleasant change.

    Thanks PIC!

    Thanks Jacob - Orvieto is a lovely town and good wine choice!

    Thanks Paz!

    Thanks Vicki - sound delish!

    I'll save you a plate Lia ;)

    Thanks Rose but you do have to eat even on vacation!

  13. Looks good. I just found some orechiette at the store.

  14. Thanks Kevin - hope you enjoy them!

  15. Gorgeous orecchiette. I love home made pasta. You make yours so nicely all the time. Isnt it too time consuming ?

  16. Thanks Zuzana - I didn't make these I just bought them from a pasta shop in Florence.

  17. Why would you strip off the rapini leaves, lady, they're an essential part of the vegetable! Delicious!

  18. Anonymous - how about you first gain some manners, then learn to read and then post with your name. Maybe if you do all three you might not have shown yourself to be the rude idiot that you are. Read the post for the answer.

  19. Haalo,

    I apologize. I am the anonymous poster above. I meant my comment only in the most light-hearted way--apparently that didn't come through in my message. I didn't mean to be rude at all, and I apologize profusely. I am so embarrassed.

    I only meant to express that I love rapini, and I always use all parts of it, even the stems and leaves. Yes, I completely understand why YOU do what you do with rapini, of course.

    And it really seems like I dug myself a hole here. But I am even further sorry that I posted anonymously. What can I say, I was in a hurry. I will absolutely refrain from posting anonymously in the future.

    I may have ACTED like a rude idiot, but I assure you, I am not ACTUALLY a rude idiot.

    I appreciate your blogs immensely, and have gained immeasurable inspiration from them. I have cooked dozens of your recipes and have enjoyed each and every one.

  20. Thank you for the apology Elias - unfortunately with text you can't convey the spirit in which a message is left. Don't worry about it, it is over and forgotten.


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