Orecchiette alle cime di rapa - Puglia, Italia
Does the word “Orecchiette” means “small ears? Can you explain the
title of the meal you prepared?
Indeed, Orecchiette means small ears and it is the shape of a pasta
that its origins are Pugliese.
Cime di rapa is basically the greens from the turnip.
How did you prepare the green turnip greens?
I cut the bottom, the thick part of the root, then I washed, cut in
pieces of 1cm, let the greens cook in boiling water about 15 minutes,
squeeze the liquid, form balls to squeeze extra water.
How did you prepare the meal?
I cooked the pasta separately. In a separate pan, I added olive oil,
garlic, chili pepper, bread crumbs, mixed, then add the greens and
some water of the pasta, mixed some more, added the anchovies and
finally the pasta, seasoned with salt.
Do you know the origin of the pasta “Orecchiette”?
As history is always and will remain a mystery to human kind,
according to the AIFB, the pasta form was born in Puglia. Many years
ago, there was a small Jewish community and they would celebrate their
religious festivity “Purim” (remembering how Esther (in the book of
Esther) saved the Jewish people from the Persians destroying their
community. She was chosen to be the Queen of the Persians. She prayed
to God and heard his voice that said, that she would save the life of
millions of Jews). During Purim, they used to make some pastries that
were made like small ears.
How do they make these pasta?
In Puglia from mother to daughter, they pass the tradition, by giving
them a special knife called “coltello”, the shape is original from
Puglia and the point is rounded. When they prepare the dough, they
form the “Orecchiette” with a finger and the coltello.