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1.27.2011

A note on Pasta and Broccoli

Today we are having pasta and broccoli again.. one of our favs! 
I am not going to give you the recipe again here, but I thought I would give you some background on this delicious pasta dish that has its roots in Apulia. My recipe is one of many variations of this delicious pasta dish.
Like most traditional Italian pasta, orecchiettehave a long and varied tradition. Some trace this little ear shaped pasta to Provence in France saying that it probably arrived to the ports of Apulia on ships that carried the dried "orecchiette" in great quantities as provisions for the ship's crew. Others trace the roots of this pasta to Hebrew communities - where they were called "Haman's ears"  - in the Sannicandro territory of Bari under the Norman-Svevo dominion in the XII and XIII centuries. Whatever their origin, they are the delicious!

The ingredients for the classic Apulian recipe are cime di rapa - literally turnip tops - and they are just this. The leave and flowerettes of the Brassica rapa silvestris.
Orecchiette  (little ears) - a pasta made with white semolina flour, water and salt. Once a stiff dough is made, it is cut into small pieces then each piece is "strascinato" or dragged against the wood cutting board with the blade of a dull knife. The result is an ear-shaped noodle, hence it's name "orecchiette"

The original recipe also calls for garlic, lots of extra virgin Apulian olive oil, anchovies, hot red pepper and grated aged ricotta cheese (similar to sharp pecorino cheese).

So there you have it!


p.s. the photos are linked from wikipedia. 

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