International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Orecchiette con Broccoli

Bowl of orecchiette con broccoli

(Italian ear-shaped pasta with broccoli)

Image by jules:stonesoup

Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

This simple recipe comes together quickly and is a great first course for any Italian meal or can serve as a light dinner on its own. Orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta, is perfect for this dish, but you can substitute other shaped pasta like penne, fusilli or farfalle.

3 to 4 servings


  • Broccoli, cut into florets; stem peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds -- 1 bunch
  • Orecchiette pasta -- 1 pound
  • Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Anchovies, rinsed and minced -- 6
  • Pepper flakes -- 1 or 2 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Water -- 1/4 cup
  • Romano cheese -- 1/2 cup
  • Grated Parmesan cheese -- 1/4 cup


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and simmer until just cooked through. Remove to a colander with a slotted spoon, rinse under cold water to stop cooking and set aside.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook till al dente according to package directions. Drain, toss with a little oil and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the anchovies and pepper flakes and sauté briefly, 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, salt, pepper and water and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Finally, add the pasta to the simmering broccoli and and toss to heat through.
  4. Remove from heat, toss with the grated cheese and serve immediately.

Orecchiette con Broccoli Variations

  • Substitute broccoli rabe for the broccoli to make a more authentic version of this dish.
  • Use all Parmesan or all Romano cheese if you like.
  • Sauté 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic with the anchovies.


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