This healthy and easy Vegan Orecchiette with Broccoli is inspired by southern Italian traditions. The regional Apulian dish is called "orecchiette con cime di rapa". But in this vegan version, we had to find a replacement for the anchovies that are not vegan. As a result, to replace umami, we used finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes cooked in soy sauce.
Vegan Orecchiette with Broccoli
- 400 grams (5.3 cups) Orecchiette made with durum wheat
- 4 tbsp (4 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp per person
- 3 cloves of (3 cloves of ) garlic peeled and cut in half
- 50 grams (1.8 oz) sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 tbsp (2 tbsp) soy or tamari sauce
- 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) chili flakes or ½ fresh red chili
- 400 grams (6 cups) lacinato kale (cavolo nero) kale or chard work well too
- 1 head (1 head) broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) coarse sea salt
- 2 L (8.4 cups) water
- 4 tbsp fake parmesan cheese
- In a pot, bring the water to boil, add the coarse sea salt and boil the orecchiette with the broccoli florets (all in the same water). If you use fresh orecchiette you can boil the broccoli and the orecchiette together as they will only take 5 minutes or less to cook. If you use dry store bought pasta, then cook the orecchiette in the water first for about 4 minutes, then add the broccoli florets to the pot and finish cooking till the pasta is al dente for another 4 / 5 minutes.
- While the pasta cook prep the sauce. In a wide pan on medium heat, fry the garlic with the olive oil for 1 minute or until golden. Then add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the soy sauce, and the chili flakes. Let cook together for another minute on medium-low heat.
- Add the lacinato kale (or kale or chard) to the pan and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, adding some pasta water. Tear the black kale apart with your hands while adding it to the pan.
- When the pasta and the broccoli are cooked, add it to the pan with the kale and stir everything together for another minute. Bring all the sauce and the pasta together by adding some pasta cooking water and some fake parmesan cheese (recipe on our blog). Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Cook the pasta and greens in the same pot: By cooking the pasta in the same cooking water as the turnip greens, the orecchiette pasta is enriched with vegetable juices and becomes much more flavourful.
- Make a vegan topping: Apulian farmers have been using "fake" parmesan cheese before veganism was a thing. Check out our recipe here. It goes well with this pasta.
- How to make homemade Orecchiette: Check out our homemade orecchiette recipe! It's 3 ingredients and simple and fun to make.
Eat the Orecchiette as soon as it is ready, as it is much better served warm. If you have any leftovers, you can keep it for a day in the fridge, closed in an air-tight container.
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We hope you liked this Vegan Orecchiette with Broccoli. It is one of our first choices for a healthy and quick pasta dish. If you have any tips or questions, we would love to hear from you in our comment section below.