Orecchiette alla barese

Bari-style orecchiette (strascenate) with rapini or broccoli rabe   Authentic Italian recipe

Orecchiette with broccoli rabe, Bari-style, is a dish from Apulia. It is a vegetarian recipe if you do not use anchovies and is very simple to do. I do it without garlic but with some extra flavor and is equally good. Try and see ;)) Typical autumnal and wintry recipe for the Mediterranean diet.

rapini orecchiette on an orange dish
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Orecchiette with broccoli rabe

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 1kg (2.2 pounds) rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • 280g (10 ounces) "orecchiette" (short pasta from Apulia region)
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) grated Pecorino (ewe's milk cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons capers in vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Hot chili pepper
  • Salt
  • Time:
    preparation: 20 minutes
    cooking: 20 minutes
    total time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 467 (kcal) 24 % GDA (*)- 1953 (kJ)
    Protein: 17.2 (g) 35 % GDA
    Total fat: 19.5 (g) 28 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 59.4 (g) 22 % GDA
    Sugars: 6.9 (g) 8 % GDA

Look at infographic of nutrition facts

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Rapini orecchiette recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Clean rapini removing a part of their stalk and tough leaves.
    Wash them under running water and cut them in chunks.
  • - Bring to a boil plenty of salted water.
    Add rapini and after few minutes orecchiette too.
    Cook al dente stage and drain very well.
  • - Just before draining orecchiette ...
    ... heat olive oil together with hot chili pepper and anchovies in a non-stick frying pan, on low heat, until anchovies melt.
  • - Transfer drained orecchiette and rapini into the pan. Add drained capers too.
    Stir with a wooden spoon and sauté, few minutes, to complete pasta cooking and flavor all ingredients, on medium-high heat.

Just before serving

  • - Serve hot. Place on the table a little bowl full of freshly-grated Pecorino cheese, if liked.



  • - You can add a garlic clove, if liked. Often, I add chopped onion or shallot to other ingredients.
  • - If you use salted capers, desalinate them thoroughly before using.
  • - Do not confuse rapini with flowers and leaves of red or white turnips.

Menu planning

  • - If you follow a healthy diet, rapini orecchiette is a good choice. If you make it often, replace anchovies in oil and capers in vinegar with items in salt.
  • - It is one-plate meal. Finish your meal with seasonal fruits.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - In the nutrition facts for rapini orecchiette, Pecorino cheese is included (about a tablespoon per head).
  • - Broccoli rabe is low in calories (22 kcal per 100g) and about 3 grams of fiber. Besides, it is also rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus and polyphenols.
  • - Remember that for its high content of purines, broccoli rabe is not recommended for people suffering from hyperuricemia.


What's the right wine for " Bari-style orecchiette, or strascenate, with turnip tops "?

Our suggestion is a good-quality rosè wine.