the best sauce for orecchiette pasta

This easy broccoli sauce is the best sauce for orecchiette pasta to pair up with no fuss. This flavourful-quick 30-minute recipe is easy enough to make as your weeknight go-to dinner!

What is Orecchiette pasta?

Orecchiette pasta originated in the southern region of Italy, specifically in Puglia. The name “orecchiette” literally means “little ears” in Italy, which describes the shape of the pasta. So, these unique-shaped “little ears” perfectly hold hearty broccoli sauce. 

In Italy, orecchiette is a popular pasta shape and is commonly used in traditional dishes such as orecchiette alle cime di rapa (orecchiette with broccoli rabe) and orecchiette con le salsicce (orecchiette with sausage).

Green Broccoli Pasta:

This is a traditional cuisine straight from the heart of Italy and is more than just a dish—it’s an experience. It is the perfect blend of fresh, bold-rustic flavours. Fussing symphony of flavours, the earthiness of broccoli with the satisfying taste of al-dante pasta. This authentic Italian recipe will overfeed your hunger and spark your taste buds.

If you’re struggling with picky-eater kids, try this broccoli pasta that is simple to make and seriously delicious. It could be that recipe to add nutritional value to your kids’ meals.

Let’s dive into the broccoli sauce recipe. 

Wait a minute! 

If you’re looking for more quick and delicious pasta sauce recipes. Don’t forget to check it out on my website! 

Why is this the best sauce for orecchiette pasta?

  • Pure natural flavours: this is a simple yet comforting dish that highlights the natural flavours of the broccoli.
  • Hussle-free: making broccoli sauce is quick, easy and fuss-free.
  • Vegan: this recipe is dairy and meat-free.
  • Kids-favourite: Kids not only like the taste of broccoli but also love the vibrant green appearance of meals.
  • For diet-conscious persons: effortlessly marries gluten-free pasta.
  • Make with minimal ingredients: This delicious homemade sauce is always accessible, even if you have fresh or frozen broccoli.

Required ingredients to make broccoli sauce:

Orecchiette pasta400g
Broccoli florets 4 cups
Olive oil 1 tablespoon
Shallots (onions)1 medium size
Garlic clovesa few thinly sliced
Red chilli flakes(optional)  1 teaspoon
Parmeggiano Regiano for serving


steps to make broccoli sauce:

Step 1: Start washing broccoli; cut your broccoli into smaller pieces. 

Step 2: Fill a large pot with water to cook the pasta. Add salt to pasta water and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Take another medium pot with water. When the water boils, add the broccoli.

Step 4: Let the pasta and broccoli cook over medium to high flame. While boiling, take one more frying pan and pour some oil into it; when it is hot, add red onion shallots and stir. Cook until they soften, and then add garlic.

Step 5: Drain boiled broccoli and add it to the shallots and garlic sauté pan. Stir well to mix.

Step 6: Add some broccoli broth to break broccoli florets. Keep stirring until it breaks up into little pieces and becomes more softened.

Step 7: When the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water (drain excess water).

Step 8: Cook orecchiette pasta with broccoli sauce for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Stir well to combine; add pasta water to enhance taste.

Step 9: Dish out pasta to serve. Season with chilli flakes if you like spicy. Garnish with Parmeggiano Regiano sprinkles. 

Serve hot. Enjoy!

Recipe substitutions:

Vegetables: If you don’t want to add broccoli, you can substitute it with other vegetables. 

If you’re confused yet about which vegetables can be added to pasta,

Worry not; we are here to assist you. Check out this amazing blog, “Vegetables that goes well with Pasta,” and thank me later.

Pasta selection: However, penne, orecchiette, or rigatoni are suggested for this dish; select any pasta you prefer. 

Broth: If you’re a meat lover, use chicken or beef broth without hesitation to make orecchiette pasta extra flavourful.

More add-ons:  Feel free to add other ingredients such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or even chunks of grilled chicken for extra protein.

Frequently asked questions

How do you eat orecchiette?

Coated orecchiette with turnip top sauce is traditionally served in Puglia. Other sauces like pesto and meat sauce are guaranteed to gather in enjoyable little pools in each shell.

What kind of pasta is orecchiette?

 “Orecchiette” literally means “little ears” in Italy, which describes the shape of the pasta. So, these unique-shaped “little ears” perfectly hold hearty broccoli sauce. 

What is comparable to orecchiette pasta?

Penne, fusilli, farfalle, and rigatoni are the best substitute pasta types if orecchiette is unavailable.

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