Archive for May, 2010

Orecchiette with Greens

Serves 2

Orecchiette pasta either freshly made or good quality dried pasta
Speck (smoked), pancetta, or good quality smoked bacon rinded and cut into small batons.
Olive oil
Garlic clove finely chopped
1/2 – 1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped or a pinch of dried red chilli flakes *
Green vegetables:  Cima di rapa and/or Broccoli / Broccolini / Chicory, stems removed, heads separated into small florets and any leaves cut into large pieces.
Basil pesto (basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper) *
1/4-1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind *
White wine *
Fresh continental parsley, chopped
Cream *
Salt & pepper
Pecorino or Parmesan  cheese, shaved or grated
* Optional

Cook the green vegetables in salted boiling water until just tender. Remove the greens from the pan and refresh in iced water.  Drain and set aside.  Keep the water boiling ready to cook the pasta.

Add the orecchiette to the pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Dried pasta will take about 15-18 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the garlic and chilli until softened and the flavours have infused.

Add the speck/bacon/pancetta and fry on a medium heat until golden brown and the fat rendered.  Alternatively, a couple of anchovies can be substituted for the cured meat and stirred until melted.

Add the green vegetables to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until heated through.  A splash of white wine can be added at this point and reduced slightly.

Stir in the cream, pesto and finely grated lemon rind.

Drain the orecchiette and add to the pan.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add chopped parsley and toss well.

Spoon into pasta bowls with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and glass of red wine – not optional!


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