Orecchiette con cime di rape. This probably the most well known dish from Bari. Cime di rape are known as turnip tops in British English. It’s funny, but I’ve never seen turnips in Italy. It must be a real problem for the ex-pat Scots on Burns’ night. They are known as rapini or broccoli rabe in American English. In fact if you can’t find cime di rape you can use broccoli. The results won’t be the same, but it will be in the same ball park. I have seen recipes that also use cherry tomatoes which are added to the oil after the anchovies have dissolved. You can cook the cime di rape along with the pasta or, as I prefer, cook the cime di rape and then cook the pasta in the same water. Some recipes also don’t use chillies and/or anchovies so the dish can easily be made vegetarian. Serves 4
- 400 g orecchiette
- 800 g cime di rape
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 tablespoon or more olive oil
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 dried chilli (optional)
Wash the cime di rape well. I prefer to discard the larger stalks, but some people leave them in.
Boil the rape in plenty of salted water until it is cooked to your liking. I find 3 or 4 minutes is enough. Drain them saving the water.
Cook the orecchiette until they are al dente in the water you used to cook the cima di rape. Meanwhile fry the anchovies, whole garlic clove and chilli in the olive oil. Stir until the anchovies dissolve. Cook for a few minutes over a medium heat.
Remove the garlic clove and add the cime di rape. Mix well. Finally add the oriecchette and serve.