Orecchiette con cime di rapa

The traditional Italian pasta, orecchiette, meaning “little ears” in Italian, partners well with pleasantly bitter greens broccoli leaves, spicy red pepper flakes, anchovies and fragrant garlic fried in a light extra-vergin olive oil.

1 (1-pound) package Orecchiette
2 pounds broccoli raab
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
3 Flat Fillet Anchovies
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Bring two large pots of lightly salted water to a boil then add the pasta.

In the meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic unpeeled, anchovies, crushed red pepper. Add cime di rapa, fried them for few minutes then add a cup of cooking water (i.e. the water into the pasta is boiling, full of starch). Cover the skillet as you check for doneness of the pasta. It should be al dente before you strain it, about 8 minutes.

Add pasta and turn the heat up to medium-high, tossing until evenly coated. Add a touch more olive oil or cooking water if it looks too dry. Cover and allow it to cook for another 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt, red pepper flakes to suit your taste.

Dish the pasta into the serving bowls and top with plenty of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Serve with a full bodied red wine.