Orecchiette with broccoli
Pasta & Rice

Orecchiette with Broccoli Cream Sauce

Orecchiette with Broccoli Cream Sauce is an Apulian recipe that combines pasta with stir-fried Broccoli and Pecorino Cheese. A Quick and Easy recipe, ideal to prepare every day.

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Orecchiette with Broccoli is one of the well-known pasta dishes of Apulian cuisine. Today’s recipe is originally from Bari, although it is possible to find the typical orecchiette with broccoli throughout Puglia, perhaps with some variations in different places.

The main variation of this recipe is with Cime di Rapa (aka Turnip Peaks). If you want to taste them, we have created a delicious Spaghetti with Cime di Rapa and Bottarga recipe.

For this recipe, as I said, I’ve reduced broccoli in a cream using the starches released from the wheat. Then, with the addition of Pecorino Cheese, the sauce becomes savory and the creamy and tasty sauce that melts in the mouth.

About Orecchiette Origins

Although Orecchiette originated in the Middle Ages in France, their introduction in the Apulia region dates back to around 1200.

For this classic Apulian dish you will need few ingredients and not much effort. It will be the goodness of Italian broccoli to provide all the taste, preferably with fresh orecchiette.

Orecchiette with Broccoli cream and pecorino cheese

How to make orecchiette at home

Preparing Fresh Orecchiette at home is very easy and it is a really fun moment to share with the family.

If you’d like to try, take a look at my step-by-step explanation and recipe of Orecchiette Pugliesi to make your fresh homemade orecchiette!

We can use different flours to make orecchiette. Today, for example, I used Burnt Wheat Flour. This Flour was, in the past, simply the leftover of the harvest.
Today the Burnt Wheat has known a new feature, and it’s produced by shelling and toasting the grains of the wheat. The obtained result is flour with a dark content and a toasted wood flavor.

In addition, Burnt Wheat Flour is naturally wholemeal and contains a lower quantity of gluten; it also has a higher protein content and good balancing in mineral salts.

Sicilian broccoli

For this recipe, I used Sicilian Broccoli, a variety of broccoli belonging to the same family as cabbage, which is characterized by the dark green color of the tops and by the tiny and tender florets.

While cooking them, to avoid losing the florets, I suggest you boil broccoli in warm salted water so that the tips cook for no more than 5 minutes, then cut off the tops and set them aside, while you will cook the stems longer together with the pasta to obtain a creamy result.

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Pecorino Cheese Cream Sauce

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Pecorino Cheese Cream Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 400 g. burnt wheat orecchiette
  • 1 Sicilian broccoli (approx 600 g)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 dry chili pepper
  • 60 g pecorino cheese
  • 3 sp. extra virgin olive oil
  • breadcrumbs


Well wash broccoli, remove the leaves and cut the individual florets.

In a pot pre-heat water with a teaspoon of coarse salt and when it boils pour the broccoli.

After 5 minutes remove the tips of the broccoli and cook the stalks.

Aside take a large pan, pour the oil and fry the garlic clove with the chilli pepper. When they are burnished, eliminate them so as not to burn.

Lower the heat and pour the drained broccoli stalks into the pan.

In the meantime, into the same boiling broccoli water, cook the orecchiette.

At 3/4 of the orecchiette cooking time, add the tips you left aside in the pan where the broccoli cream is forming, and with a slotted spoon transfer the orecchiette directly to the pan.

Stir while pasta finishes cooking and see the cream forming; if necessary add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.

When cooked, pour on the pecorino cheese.

Turn off the stove and keep well until the cheese melts completely.


A little trick I use in my family: if you may like to have a crunchy sensation in your mouth, sprinkle your ready dish with some breadcrumbs that you will have stir-fried with hot oil for a few minutes.

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  1. I liked this recipe and I will try this at home keep share this kind of recipes

    1. cucchiarella says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it. I look forward to feedback from you when you’ll try it

  2. I love broccoli salads I will try this too today It look yumm

    1. cucchiarella says:

      I hope you like my recipe! ❤️

  3. I am from upstate NY and this is a favorite of mine!! This brought me back to my childhood and I will be following your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Zi says:

    I’ve been looking for a good brocolli recipe. Thank you for sharing.

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