Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce Recipe – Step by Step Guide

Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce Recipe – Step by Step Guide: The sauce for this orecchiette con broccoli is velvety and ready in about 30 minutes. The dish comes from Puglia, Italy.

Italian boot heel Puglia. Clams and mussels are its specialty. Also famous for cheese, bread, and olive oil. Foodies love Puglia, especially Salento! Turi extra virgin olive oil works nicely with veggies and fish, therefore we recommend it for this dish. Anchovies are optional in this dish.

Table of Contents


  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (the Turi)
  • 1 head broccoli (large)
  • 350 grams orecchiette (0.75lb)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (optional)
  • 1 large anchovy (optional)

image of pasta with broccoli on a white plate


  1. Fill a medium large pot with water, and bring to a boil. Add salt. If water does not taste as salty as the sea add more.
  2. Cut broccoli into 1 1/2″ chunks (remove stems if desired).
  3. Add broccoli to water. Cook for 10-12 minutes until soft.
  4. Heat a medium large saute pan on medium low and add olive oil (optional anchovy) and garlic. Cook until anchovy has melted and garlic is golden (approx. 2 mins). Remove from heat.
  5. Add orecchiette to broccoli water, stirring every 2 minutes. Cook orecchiette 2-3 minutes before ‘al dente’ (see package for cooking time).
  6. Turn medium large pan with olive oil and garlic mixture onto medium heat and add a ladle of pasta water. With a slotted spoon add the orrechiette and broccoli. Turn heat up to high and stir.
  7. Add pasta water as needed to achieve desired texture. We like ours a little ‘soupy’. Add freshly cracked pepper.
  8. Add (optional) parmigiano reggiano (if add anchovy don’t add cheese). Remove from heat and stir until cheese is incorporated.
  9. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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