Very popular throughout southern Italy, especially in Puglia, so much so that, from province to province, it has innumerable names.
In Provence, already in the Middle Ages, durum wheat was cultivated and a pasta similar to orecchiette was produced.
Those small discs of dough - squeezed in the middle with the thumb-were well suited to be dried and stored.
Here is the famous recipe "Orecchiette con le Cime di Rapa"
Ingredients for 4 people
300gr orecchiette pasta
1 kg broccoli rabe (rapini)
1 garlic clove
100ml Apulian extra-virgin olive oil
2 salted fillets of anchovies
chilli to taste
Select the tender leaves and the tops of the rapini. Clean, wash and dry the rapini.
Heat the oil and lightly fry the garlic in a large pan, add 2 salted fillets of anchovies.
Put a little oil in another pan and fry the breadcrumbs until golden brown.
Boil the rapini and leaves in salted water for 10 minutes.
Then add orecchiette and boil them with the rapini tops for other 8-10 minutes.
Strain orecchiette and rapini. Mix pasta, rapini and sautéed anchovies.
Serve it with the toasted bread and chilli on the top. Buon appetito!
Benedetto Cavalieri pasta is delicious no matter how you'll prepare it.