Orecchiette Pugliese


  • Serves 4 people

  • 100 gm coarse fresh breadcrumbs from crusty white bread
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, finely chopped
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 50 gm pecorino, grated
  • 400 gm broccoli
  • 100 gm guanciale, thinly sliced (see note)
  • 500 gm dried orecchiette
01   Preheat oven to 160C. Scatter breadcrumbs on an oven tray, bake until dry (8-10 minutes). Set aside.
02   Meanwhile, heat 70ml oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add one-third of the garlic and half the chilli and stir occasionally until caramelised (1-2 minutes). Add breadcrumbs, stir until golden (3-4 minutes), stir through lemon rind and set aside to cool. When cool, stir through pecorino, season to taste and set aside.
03   Cut broccoli into florets, finely chop stems and set aside separately. Cook stems in boiling salted water until almost tender (3-4 minutes), then add florets and cook until both are tender (3-4 minutes). Drain well, process in a food processor until smooth, season to taste and set aside.
04   Heat remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add guanciale, remaining garlic and chilli and stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes)
05   Meanwhile, preheat a grill to high heat. Cook orecchiette in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes), then drain, (reserve 60ml pasta water). Return pasta and reserved water to pan, add broccoli purée and stir to combine. Toss through guanciale mixture, season to taste, then divide among four heatproof serving dishes. Scatter over crumb mixture, grill until golden (2-3 minutes) and serve hot.
Note Guanciale is cured pig’s jowl, available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute mild pancetta.

This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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