Orecchiette With Rapini and Chili

Chef Alessandro Vianello of Pastificio di Luigi shares his simple recipe for orecchiette (little ears) pasta with rapini (broccoli rabe). Ingredients: orecchiette pasta, rapini, washed and chopped, Calabrian chili paste, garlic, canola oil, butter, pecorino Romano, salt and pepper to taste, good finishing extra virgin olive oil

Chef Alessandro Vianello of Pastificio di Luigi shares his simple recipe for orecchiette (little ears) pasta with rapini (broccoli rabe)


  • 500 g orecchiette pasta
  • 1 bunch rapini, washed and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp Calabrian chili paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 100 g grated pecorino Romano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Good finishing extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to A boil and season it with enough salt that it tastes like the ocean.
  2. In a large frying pan, on medium heat, gently cook the garlic and chili in the canola oil, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rapini and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Start cooking your pasta according to the directions on the package. You want your pasta to be al dente so it still has a little texture and bite left.
  5. Add the butter and seasoning to the pan with the rapini. Also add a small ladle of the pasta cooking water to the pan, about 3 oz.
  6. While continuing to cook the rapini and melt the butter, the sauce should start to form.  You are looking for a light creamy consistency.
  7. Strain the pasta once it is cooked and add it to the pan with the rapini and combine with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water. If the sauce is a little too thin, add a little more butter.
  8. Plate the pasta and garnish the top with the grated cheese and the finishing olive oil. Buon appetito!

Serves 4