Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Tomatoes

Photo: David Malosh
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

For this pasta dish, broccoli rabe and orecchiette are cooked together in one pan. You could stop there and simply finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin oiive oil and some finely grated Pecorino Romano, but it's exceptionally good tossed with an all-star Italian sauce of anchovies, garlic, capers, and tomatoes, and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. This recipe appears in our cookbook, "Martha Stewart's Vegetables" (Clarkson Potter).


  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 ½ cups plain fresh breadcrumbs

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed, drained, and chopped

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • 1 pound fresh Step-by-Step Orecchiette or best-quality dried orecchiette

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces


  1. In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium. Add breadcrumbs and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to a plate.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan; heat over medium. Add anchovies and stir until they dissolve into oil, about 1 minute. Add garlic and capers; cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If using fresh orecchiette, add broccoli rabe and pasta to pot, and cook until pasta is al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. If using dried orecchiette, cook according to package instructions until al dente, adding broccoli rabe 2 minutes before end of cooking time. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

  4. Add pasta, broccoli rabe, and reserved pasta water to tomato mixture in pan. Cook over medium-high, stirring gently, until liquid has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, top with breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Make your own fresh breadcrumbs by pulsing white sandwich bread or rustic bread in a food processor to the desired consistency. They can be frozen in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 months.

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