Orecchiette with Broccolini, Cannellini Beans, and Tomato
Updated: Jun 23, 2019
If you like pasta but want a light and healthy dish, you'll love this recipe. After taking a pasta class, I was inspired by the flavors of Puglia, Italy to make this. It all comes together in about 15 minutes and you can also boil the pasta in the same water as the broccolini, saving on dish clean-up.
Vegan option: omit the cheese
Gluten-free option: use gluten-free pasta
2 heads broccolini or similar green vegetable, cut into long strips
1/2 pound box orecchiette or other short pasta
1/3 cup kosher salt (for seasoning the water for the veg and pasta)
Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
5 fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the broccolini; 1-2 minutes until crisp and bright green, use tongs to transfer the broccolini into ice water. Blanching it like this keeps vegetables crisp and vibrant.
Add the pasta to the boiling water; cook to al dente. Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a medium skillet set over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and the crushed red pepper flakes; cook about 2 minutes until the garlic is softened and the oil is perfumed.
Add the tomatoes and the beans to the medium skillet; season with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook to soften the tomatoes. Add the broccolini to warm through on low heat.
When the pasta is ready, reserve a cup of cooking water before draining the pasta and adding to the skillet with the vegetables. Add a little cooking water to taste, and serve with more black pepper, pamigiano reggiano cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Jeremy Scheck is the founder and editor-in-chief of Collegetown Kitchen and After School Bakery. He is a student at Cornell University in the class of 2022 studying Spanish, Italian, and nutrition. Aproveche, buon appetito and bon appétit!