Orecchiette with turnip greens: a typical Apulian recipe

A typical Apulian recipe, orecchiette with turnip greens is a dish that veers away from the norm, introducing an interesting idea of cuisine. You will need some very key ingredients to make it, namely those in the dishes name. The orecchiette can be either freshly homemade or dry store bought and they’ll be just as good.

What you cannot substitute however, is the type of pasta because the lined form of the pasta allows the ingredients to stick to it just perfectly. Apart from turnip greens , you will also need “olio santo“, or hot oil, which is extra virgin olive oil with hot peppers dipped in it, giving the dish its characteristic spice.

The recipe of this typical Apulian recipe


350 g of orecchiette

1 kg of broccoli rabe (weighed before cleaned)

8 anchovies in oil (slices)

1 clove of garlic


Extra-virgin olive oil, ideally hot oil

Red chili pepper (if you can’t find hot oil)


Wash and clean the turnip greens, getting rid of the harder external parts. Separate the leaves and the softer stems and put them aside. Peel the external part of the stem and dice the softer white part into cubes. Boil a pot of water and add salt to it. When boiling, add the pasta and the turnip greens. In this way, the leaves will give the pasta flavor. Cook for about ten minutes: don’t cook throughly for now.
Put some oil on a skillet and heat it up, crush the garlic and add it to the oil, cook until golden. Turn off the stove and add the anchovies. The goal is for them to blend in so its best to slice them into small pieces and then put them on the skillet right after having turned it off. Add the diced turnip greens stems to the pasta pan and mix for about four minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Drain everything (keep some of the pasta water aside) and then put everything on the skillet on high while mixing for two minutes. If the pasta seems to be sticking a bit to the pan, add some of the water that was put aside. Turn off the flames and pour some olive oil on your master piece and black pepper if you’d like.

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