A wonderfully simple Italian comfort food, orecchiette with broccoli rabe (rapini) originates from the town of Monteleone in Puglia. Orecchiette is a small, ear-shaped pasta traditional of the Puglia region.
In Italy, they would make this dish with homemade Orecchiette, but if you aren’t going to make them yourself, you can always use the dried version. The secret is to cook the greens in the same water that you are going to cook the pasta in, so the pasta absorbs the flavor of the rapini.
Rapini is a bitter green vegetable that slightly resembles broccoli but is from the mustard family, so it is incredibly good for you. There are just a handful of ingredients in this recipe, so don’t hold back when flavoring the greens … use plenty of garlic, chili flakes, olive oil, and a few anchovies to balance out the slight bitterness of the rapini.