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Traditionally, much of the pasta in Puglia was handmade from hard wheat flour and water, nothing more. Orecchiette are little ears of pasta that in fact look more like little hats, the kind a contadino might wear out in the field to protect himself from the sun and the rain, round disks with a bump in the middle pushed up by a stout thumb.
The broccoli rabe has such an intense and wonderful flavor that the orecchiette will be delicious either way and it's perfect the combination of pungent chili peppers and salty anchovies.
• 320 gr orecchiette handmade
• 2 kg broccoli rabe
• 6 anchovy fillets, boned and chopped
• 1 garlic clove, sliced
• 2 chili peppers
• extra virgin olive oil and salt
Clean the broccoli rabe, discarding any yellow, old, or tough outer leaves and the thick stems. Coarsely chop the leaves and thinner stems leaving the little flower clusters intact. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil, drop in the broccoli rabe pieces, and boil, uncovered for few minutes. Add the pasta to the water in which the broccoli is cooking and boil until the pasta is just tender. Drain in a colander, transfer to a heated bowl, and toss with the anchovy-garlic sauce.
Taste and add salt and lots of black pepper. Serve immediately.