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Wild Rocket & Pecorino Orecchiette

by Gennaro Contaldo from Jamie’s Food Tube: The Pasta Book

An inviting dish which features ear-shaped orecchiette pasta. The Italian inspired recipe throws together Pecorino cheese, wild rocket and salty anchovies.

From the book


With lemons, fresh tomatoes, wild rocket and anchovies that smell like the sea, this is a classic recipe from my hometown of Minori. You can exchange the orecchiette for other short pasta shapes, if you like.

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2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 sticks of celery, trimmed
½ a fresh red chilli
8 spring onions, trimmed
2 large firm tomatoes
400g orecchiette
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
Juice from ½ a lemon
100g wild rocket, washed
Pecorino cheese, to serve


Start by preparing your ingredients. Finely slice the garlic, celery, chilli and spring onions. Quarter the tomatoes and cut out the seeds, then dice the flesh.

Cook the orecchiette in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, celery and whole anchovies and fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the chilli and spring onions. Sweat for a few minutes, or until just starting to soften – you want to keep the sauce quite raw so the onions retain their fresh flavour.

Reserving some of the cooking water, drain the orecchiette and add to the sauce. Toss well over the heat until lovely and glossy, adding a splash of the cooking water to loosen, if needed. Season carefully with salt, add the lemon juice, then remove from the heat. Toss in the tomatoes and rocket, then serve with shavings of pecorino, a drizzle of oil and a twist of pepper, if you like.


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From the book: Jamie’s Food Tube: The Pasta Book

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