Orecchiette con Rucola e Pomodori

(Orecchiette with Wild Arugula and Tomatoes)

Recipe prepared by Chef John Coletta, shown in presentation at Treasure Island foods. 

Apulians have laid claim to the origin of this rustic ear-shaped pasta. This preparation is also known as Recchie al Tre Colori ("tricolor recchie"), given the white of the orecchiette, green of the arugula, and red of the tomatoes. Orecchiette are perfect with chunky vegetable sauces or meat ragus. 

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic, peeled, sliced paper thin
  • 8 Plum tomatoes, peeled, diced medium
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground white pepper, to taste

  • 6 quarts water
  • 1/8 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 lb dried Orecchiette

  • 1 1/2 cup Wild Arugula, cut into 2" lengths
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated

  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, add the olive oil and heat over a medium flame. Add the garlic and cook until translucent, Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes over a low flame.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot, bring the water to a rapid boil, add the salt and orecchiette. Cooking according to the specified time provided by the producer or until al dente.
  3. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/8 cup pasta water. Add orecchiette to the chunky tomatoes and simmer for 30 seconds. Add the arugula and simmer 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water and simmer for 30 seconds. Season to taste.
  4. Add half the amount of Pecorino Romano to the orecchiette and stir well. Serve immediately along with remaining Pecorino Romano for passing at the table.