Blissfully Delicious

Orecchiette with Broccolette, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Red Beans

I got hooked on farmer market probably about four years ago. I moved to a teeny town that had a buzzing farmer market in the summer and a visit there became a therapeutic ritual for me every Saturday morning. While the selection was limited, I was still mesmerized by the variety of veggies that were grown locally. I really loved not having an idea of what I would be able to find that weekend from the market.  Now I always jump at the opportunity to try new vegetables, especially if I had never cooked them before. I found these sour cherries (still haven’t been able to find them anymore after that year!), cippolini onions, beets, and brussel sprouts in the past years.

I have since then always jumped at the chance of trying new vegetables. This year, I found “Broccolette”, which is a cross between broccoli and Chinese Kale. It has the flowers like regular broccoli but the long thin stalks of almost-like asparagus. I was excited to try them, and found this versatile recipe that can use any vegetable in the broccoli-family. This vegetarian pasta dish is light, vegetarian, yet satisfying especially with the addition of beans. It is also can be served warm or room-temperature.  I thought about adding grilled chicken, which I thought would be excellent as well.

1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolette, I used about 1 lb, leaves removed, tough stems removed (broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccolini – all will work)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), or 1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 12 pieces), sliced
1 (15-ounce) can red beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water and drain pasta thoroughly. Meanwhile, if using sun-dried tomatoes not packed in oil, soak tomatoes in 1 cup boiling water 10 minutes. Drain and slice.

In a large sauté pan over high heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add broccolette and sauté until lightly wilted but not brown, about 2 minutes. Alternatively, you can also opt to blanch them quickly before stir-frying, like I did, which will soften then broccolette. Add sun-dried tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and toss lightly.

Add hot drained pasta to the pan (or to a larger bowl if needed) and toss with the vegetables. Stir and add a few tablespoons of reserved pasta cooking water if mixture seems dry. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 3-4 servings

Slightly adapted from Whole Foods


20 Responses to “Orecchiette with Broccolette, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Red Beans”

  1. #
    Choc Chip Uru — May 6, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Orecchiette pasta is anew one for me but I look forward to trying it – looks delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. #
    yummychunklet — May 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Yum! This looks great and very colorful.

  3. #
    Charles — May 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    This looks like a fantastic meal Yudith – I’ve not heard of that type of pasta before either… it looks a bit like calamari.

  4. #
    Norma Chang — May 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Using a paring knife, peel the tough stems (I like to start at the root end) of the brocolette, this makes it tender and edible. You can use the leaves also if they are tender.
    Healthy and delicous pasta dish.

    • Yudith — May 6th, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

      Thanks for the tips Norma, I wasn’t sure if I could eat the leaves. And duh, never even thought about peeling the tough stems – I should do that next time. Thank you!! :)

  5. #
    Hotly Spiced — May 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    That’s a wonderful looking pasta – so full of beautiful flavours and textures. I love wandering around Farmers’ Markets too – like you say, it’s always so interesting and varied and you never know what you might take home xx

  6. #
    Cass @foodmyfriend — May 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I love farmers markets! I usually get to them too late though and there isn’t much left :( Your pasta looks very yummy. Love the crunchy bread on the side!

  7. #
    Kristy — May 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    This looks delicious Yudith! I never would have thought about adding red beans to this dish. That’s fantastic! I just happen to have some orecchiette on hand too. Now I just have to find broccolette! :)

  8. #
    Karen (Back Road Journal) — May 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    This sounds like a delicious pasta dish. I have not seen the broccolette in our markets but will made the dish with broccoli rabe.

  9. #
    Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook — May 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Your pasta dish looks so good! Love the broccolette. The bread on the side looks like the perfect touch to go with the pasta. I wish we had a Farmer’s Market nearby.

  10. #
    betsyb — May 6, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve never seen broccolette, but will be on the lookout for it because I love broccoli and kale. This recipe looks like such a lovely and complete meal in a dish!

  11. #
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella — May 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Wonderful! And I don’t think I’ve ever tried brocolette-it looks different from broccolini (which I love).

  12. #
    ATasteOfMadness — May 7, 2012 at 1:07 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! The presentation is gorgeous! Too bad I don’t have a farmers market around where I live, the closest thing I have seen is a 4 hour drive :(

  13. #
    Raymund — May 7, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Very nice name, rhyming with each other orecchiette and broccolette a dish that you will never forget :)
    Anyway, seriously that plate looks awesome.

  14. #
    myfudo — May 7, 2012 at 5:05 am

    The mix is undeniably fresh, light and delicious. I am loving the parmesan on top. This is a spring recipe I’d love to have all year through. =)

  15. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) — May 7, 2012 at 5:39 am

    This is an interesting, but very yummy, combination of ingredients in your pasta dish. I’m looking very forward to our farmers’ market opening up again in a couple of weeks.

  16. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

    This looks so hearty, healthy, and delicious!

  17. #
    Marina@Picnic at Marina — May 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    When I saw the name of the dish I had to pinch myself: really? Someone really called the meal it’s real name Orecchiette? Not some “Pasta shape of ear”, not anything else, but Orecchiette. I am so happy. I am not sure why, but I like when food is called it’s real names. Well, enough of that. You Orecchiette looks beautiful and healthy delicious! I can’t buy Orecchiette pasta here, so have to make my own. Thank you for this post! It made my day. :)

  18. #
    Asmita — May 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! So colorful, healthy and delicious! What more does one want from a meal. Perfect!

  19. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — May 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I love sun-dried tomatoes in pasta! Ever since I tasted it when I first came to the US, I’m really in love with sun-dried tomatoes. I don’t know why we don’t really use it in Japan (maybe now there might have imported one). I’ve never tried orecchiette pasta. I probably can’t remember the name but I’ll be checking out the market with “long name” pasta. =D

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