Orecchiette is the little pasta (or “little ear”, literally translated) that could; that is to say, at first glance the pasta shape from Apulia seems unremarkable, but when paired with vegetables it springs to life! In southern Italy, Orecchiette are made by way of wheat flour and the traditional method includes pressing down on dime sized pieces of dough to get the familiar dome shape. Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Garlic, Broccoli, and Red Onion
We prepared our Rustichella Orecchiette dish with broccoli, white mushrooms, and red onion. The pasta was tossed with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (staple condiments for the Scordo Pasta Challenge).
- ½ pounds of Orecchiette
- 1 package of stock/white mushrooms
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of broccoli (including stalks)
- 1 medium sized red onion
- Grated Grana or Parmigiano Reggiano
- Begin by washing the mushrooms and broccoli well and cutting the broccoli into bit size pieces. Remove the outer skin from the broccoli stems/stalks and cut into bite size pieces. Microwave the broccoli in a large bowl (with a bit of water) for 3-4 minutes on high; this will soften the broccoli a bit. Slice the mushrooms ¼ inch pieces. Cut the red onion into 1.5 inch slices. Crush the garlic and mince finely.
- In a large saute pan, add extra virgin olive oil and garlic (as well as Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste). Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium heat and next add the onions. Cook the onions for 5-10 minutes and add the mushrooms (saute for 5-8 minutes). Next, add the broccoli and saute for 10-12 minutes. Most Italians enjoy their vegetables thoroughly cooked but you can cook the broccoli to your taste.
- Add the cooked orecchiette to the pan containing the vegetables and stir well. Add grated cheese and a tad more extra virgin olive oil if necessary (and mix well).