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Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa & Salsiccia Recipe - Feast Italy

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa & Salsiccia Recipe

This traditional recipe makes use of some lesser known Italian ingredients, to deliver a true connoisseur's delicacy!

Here's the recipe. And some extra visual aid to guide you through the cooking. 

Ingredients (4 people)

400g Orecchiette
800g Cime di Rapa*
400g Pork Sausage - very coarsely minced
50g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
Chilly & salt
Grated Pecorino Cheese

*We have a little difficulty in translating Cime di Rapa. This is what they are called in Apulia, in Campania you go with Friarielli. In English? Now that's the question. Turnip greens, turnip tops... what to you say? 

In any case, Cime di Rapa may be hard to find in regional UK: friarielli are a great substitute, cavolo nero is not too bad an idea either, kale could be your last resource, we think it is not too far off in taste... but don't tell anyone that we endorsed it, or they'll take our Italian citizenship away!


1. Separate the Cime di Rapa leaves from the steams. Open the sausage, mince and throw away the bladder.

Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa e Salsiccia

2. Mince the garlic cloves, you may want to remove the inner germ that is more difficult to digest when cooked for a short time like here. 

3. Bring abundant salted water to the boil, with the leftover stems of the cime di rapa. On low heat, pour half the oil in a skillet, add the garlic and chilly. Leave until slightly golden.

4. Add the sausage to the skillet, leave for a few minutes until cooked, then add the Cime di Rapa leaves and cover. Cook on low heat until the leaves become soft and mix easily with the minced sausage.

5. Meanwhile, remove the steams from the boiling water (they have been boiling for a good 20 minutes or even a lot longer by now, so the water has taken a nice green tone). Boil the Orecchiette until al dente.

Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa Salsiccia

6. Drain the Orecchiette but keep some of the boiling water. Put the pasta in the skillet, toss on high heat and add about 100g of boiling water. You want to see the orecchiette loosing some of their pale colour to a nice coating of sauce.

7. It's now time to serve: turn off the heat, plate the pasta, add some of the remaining olive oil in each plate and dress with grated pecorino cheese.

You can add some chilli extra virgin olive oil, or anything to give an extra little kick. And don't forget to share your recipes on Instagram!

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