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2000s Recipes + Menus

Orecchiette with Pancetta and Broccoli

  • Active Time:10 min
  • Start to Finish:15 min
February 2008
As you may know, orecchiette is Italian for “little ears.” Their size and rounded shape are just right for holding chunky toppings—pancetta, pine nuts, and broccoli fit that bill nicely. Grating Parmigiano-Reggiano over the entire dish is always a good idea.
  • 3/4 lb orecchiette
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 oz sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 10 oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained, and patted dry
  • Accompaniment:

    grated parmesan
  • Cook orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.
  • While pasta cooks, heat butter and oil with garlic in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until pale golden. Discard garlic and stir in pancetta and scallions, then cook 1 minute. Stir in broccoli and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, 4 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and stir into broccoli mixture. Add some of reserved water to moisten if needed.