Eat Like an Italian: 10 Amazing Orecchiette Recipes

Photo: Alpha Smoot

Orecchiette, from the Italian words "orecchio" (ear) and "etto" (small), is an ear-shaped pasta originating in the beautiful southern region of Italy. Bring the unforgettable taste of Italy to your dinner table tonight with 10 of our favorite easy-to-make orecchiette recipes.

01 of 10

One-Pan Orecchiette

Alpha Smoot

Orecchiette mixed in with chickpeas (vegan protein), succulent Kalamata olives, and light arugula, makes a hearty, healthy, and delicious Italian dinner in 30 minutes or less.

02 of 10

Orecchiette with Caramelized Cauliflower, Shallots, and Herbed Breadcrumbs


This savory recipe comes from "Scott Conant's New Italian Cooking."

03 of 10

Spicy Orecchiette with Broccoli


Red-pepper flakes add a kick to this traditional Italian pasta dish. Pile on the Parmesan and enjoy!

04 of 10

Broccoli with Orecchiette

Richard Gerhard Jung

Broccoli, garlic, and olive oil add nutrients to a dish of pasta. Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, contains significant amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, iron, and riboflavin.

05 of 10

Tomatoes with Orecchiette


In this delectable recipe, the orecchiette pasta absorbs the delicious juices of fresh Roma and Holland tomatoes. Orecchiette seems to do it the best, but farfalle, fusilli, and penne work well, too. Tip: Season the tomatoes with a pinch of salt as you chop to coax the juices from them.

06 of 10

Orecchiette with Sausage, Corn, and Chiles


If you prefer a milder pasta, go light on the chiles, but don't skimp on the sweet Italian sausages diced into this hearty dish.

07 of 10

Tuscan Kale with Orecchiette


The deep savoriness of Tuscan kale, a backyard-garden staple in northern Italy, makes a superb foundation for soups, sides, and vegetarian mains. In this deceptively simple dish (the onions are essentially quick-pickled right in the pan), the orecchiette is practically treated as a condiment.

08 of 10

Orecchiette with Bacon and Tomato Sauce


To give basic tomato sauce an extra kick, turn to bacon and red-pepper flakes. Just a little of each gives the sauce a lightly spicy, smoky flavor.

09 of 10

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe


If your skillet isn't large enough to accommodate both the broccoli rabe mixture and the pasta, you can toss them together in a large bowl instead.

10 of 10

Orecchiette with Cauliflower


You'll love this tasty pasta dish from a reader in California. This recipe calls for cauliflower, anchovies, and red-pepper flakes, a trio of ingredients often combined in classic Italian cooking.

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