Broccoli rabe, or rapini, is a bitter green that comes into season in autumn. It is a member of the turnip family and you will find it at selected greengrocers in bundles of large leaves with broccoli-like flower heads opening into small yellow flowers. Guy learnt this recipe from his father, Pietro, who is from Puglia in southern Italy. It’s earthy and rustic – a peasant-style dish to get you through the day.
500 g dried orecchiette
1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 small red chilli, chopped
50 g pancetta, cut into batons
a few basil leaves, crushed to a paste with 1 tsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the orecchiette and broccoli rabe. Cook until the orecchiette is al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic, chilli and pancetta. Fry over medium heat for 1 minute, then add the basil oil and season with salt and pepper.
Add the drained orecchiette and broccoli rabe to the pan and toss to coat in the oil. Add the parsley and grated pecorino to taste. Toss briefly, then remove from the heat and serve.