Italian week: Recipe for Orecchiette with salsiccia and a guide for Puglia
I really love to travel, and this year has not been an exception, I have already been in Thailand, Italy and France. When I went to Italy, we stayed in the Puglia Region, and it was amazing, so beautiful and they make so much amazing food. We spent a few days in Alberobello first, where I had this delicious pasta dish with broccoli and Italian sausage, and it quickly became my new favorite dish, I have tried to recreate it the best I could and the result turned out great, but first a little highlight of what to do when you are in Alberobello… a little hint is: EAT ALL THE TIME, well there also was time to go see these little cute Trulli Houses:
These houses are all over the town, and it is also possible to rent them to live in them, we did and it was so cozy. Trulli Houses are on UNESCOS world heritage list, and they really give the little town a special look, and is a must see if you are in Puglia. The first records of Trulli being built in Puglia date from around the 14th century. The likely reason for their design was to create housing that could be easily demolished, enabling the feudal lord to avoid paying taxes on new settlements as well as making it easy to remove unwanted tenants.
The rest of Alberobello is just as great as the Trulli houses, there are literally food everywhere, from small cheese shops to markets where you can buy all sorts of olives. Every day for lunch I had a pasta or pizza, but for entrée always the same, my new passion when it comes to cheese: Burrata with Parma ham. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it a crazy good flavor. OMG I am so sad that you can’t just buy this cheese in a normal supermarket in Denmark.
When you are in Puglia it is possible to eat very cheap, and still get amazing food, but if you want to splurge a little, then there are a Michelin restaurant, it is not near as expensive as when you eat Michelin Food in Denmark, but is still cost a bit more than all the other restaurants we visited. The place is called Il Poeta Contadino, and it has been there for ages, we talked to the head chef, and he was really nice and told a lot about the place. If you are a wine enthusiast, this is also the place to go, I have never seen such a huge wine menu, it was a book with around 200 pages. Here is a little selection of the food we had that evening, only local food and ingredients.
So this was all I had about Alberobello. But back to this week’s recipe: Orecchiette with salsiccia (Orecchiette actually means little ear, how cute is that?). If you have trouble finding the Orecchiette pasta, then you can just substitute for another, just make sure it is a good pasta, life is too short for low quality pasta. I have bought the Italian sausage salsiccia in a chain called Irma, but you can also get it at your butcher.
Ingredients for 2-3 persons:
250 gram Orecchiette
200 gram Italian sausage
1 deciliter of the pasta water
1 medium broccoli
1 tbs. olive oil
1 deciliter grated parmesan cheese / you can also use pecorino
1 tbsp. Dried chili flakes
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and boil according to the bags directions.
In the meantime, in a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Pour the sausage into the sauté pan and fry, until lightly browned, add the garlic; cook for 1 minute more.
Add the rem, broccoli, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook, until the broccoli is tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the pasta water, and add the parmesan cheese, simmer for a few minutes.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan.
Serve it with a littl emore grated cheese.