Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Beans

by Joanne on October 4, 2012

Are you running a race this weekend?  Maybe the Chicago Marathon?  Maybe the Mohawk Hudson Marathon?  Maybe a half marathon or even a 10K?  If so, CARB UP with this super dish.  You’ll definitely get that PR!

Imagine making your own pasta.  Fresh and oozing with flavor.  It’s easier than you think.  Making your own “hats” or rather Orecchiette, will take about 1 hour.  *Based on directions from MarthaStewart.com.


You need:  2 cups semolina flour + 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 tsp. salt + 1 cup water(divided).  Let’s get old fashioned.  Lets think HOMEMADE!

Mound the flours + salt in 3 piles on a clean countertop. Use your clean fingers to swirl the dry ingredient together. Make one big pile out of the flour mixture, make a well in the middle and pour in HALF a cup of the water.  Gradually work the mix together with fingers and once all the water is absorbed, add more water 1 TBS at a time until a dough is formed. 

Knead the dough until all the flour is well absorbed and no more remains on the countertop.  Continue to work the dough about 5 more minutes.  Divide into 16 portions, cover with clean, damp towel and roll 1 portion of the 16 out into an 18 inch long rope.

Cut a 1/3 inch piece off the end then press your thumb into each 1/3 piece to form a “hat”.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprinkled with semolina flour.  Repeat with all the rope portions then allow the hats/orecchiette to dry over night covered with a clean towel or plastic wrap.


Broccoli rabe with a top “hat”

Now you have your own homemade pasta, you’re ready to make a delicious, meatless dish bountiful with flavor and nutrition.    Here’s what you’ll need…


  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 TBS capers, rinsed
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • pinch red pepper flakes (more if you like)
  • 15 oz. can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe, trimmed thick ends,washed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 8 oz. orecchiette
  • *Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat.  Add the breadcrumbs and salt and toast until crisp (about 3-4 minutes).  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat 2 remaining TBS oil in the pan over medium heat.  Add the artichokes and cook about 1 minute.  Add garlic and capers and cook another minute or two.

Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes and beans, cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Turn to low while you prepare the pasta and broccoli rabe.

Boil a pot of salted water. Add the broccoli rabe and pasta.  Allow to cook al dente (about 3 minutes).  Save 1/4 cup pasta water then drain the vegetable and pasta. 

Add the pasta, broccoli rabe, and saved 1/4 cup pasta water to the sauce in the pan.  Raise the heat back to medium and allow flavors to meld for about 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Top with toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan to serve.


Watch out! There’s a lot of good flavors going on in this pasta dish: a hint of briny-lemony essence from capers, earthy sweetness from the artichoke plus fresh garden flavors from tomatoes and broccoli rabe. 

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  • At 2012.10.04 20:05, claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine said:

    Great job Jo! I have never had boxed these look great and I love hats! as we call them they are so easy to make why ever buy them!

    • At 2012.10.05 18:40, Choc Chip Uru said:

      I never want to buy pasta again – this looks too delicious 😀

      Choc Chip Uru

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