I found this quick and easy recipe on the website www.italianfoodforever.com after I’d enjoyed the dish while travelling in Puglia. It’s great for using the leafy parts of root vegetables like turnips or beetroots, or the leaves of broccoli (as in the recipe) or kale.

Orichiette are the little shell-shaped pasta which I’ve never found in Hastings, so I use penne or fusilli. Fettucini would work fine too. (Cima is Italian for top, rapa is turnip)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 4 – 6


1lb (454g) dried orichiette (or whatever pasta you have)

1lb (454g) broccoli leaves (or kale, or any leafy tops of root vegetables)

3 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup good quality olive oil

Non-vegan variations

5 slices (1/3 cup) chopped pancetta

I don’t eat meat and never have red pepper flakes so I use anchovies instead. I’m usually cooking for myself, so divide quantities by 4 and a small tin is fine for one person. I drain the oil and soak the anchovies to remove excess salt (you shouldn’t need to add salt in this variation).


Trim the broccoli (or other greens) by cutting off any tough stems, and chop into 1” (2.5cm) pieces. Peel the skin off tough stalks and cut into 1” pieces too.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil, garlic, pancetta (or anchovies) – if using – and pepper flakes.

Set aside.

Heat a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.

Cook as per package instructions until the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.

Add the broccoli to the pasta pot and cook until tender.

Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving a small cup of pasta water.

Return the mixture to the pot and mix well with the oil mixture, adding water as needed to keep it moist.

Serve piping hot.