Legendary Dishes | Orecchiette della Francesco Misino {Sapori e i Profumi di questa Terra} (fresh ear pasta with herbs, olives and seasonal vegetables)

ITALY

Featured in the second edition of Carlo Cambi’s iconic guide to the local and traditional food served in Italian taverns and trattorias, this dish with fresh orecchiette was a creation by chef Francesco Misino, owner of the Osteria del Seminario in Bisceglie.

Orecchiette is associated with turnip greens in Puglia, broccoli in Sicily and various sauces across the country.

Misino’s genius was to marry this ear pasta to the flavours and tastes of the region. His ingredients included black olives, cardone, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, potato and truffle.

This is one of those dishes that need aromatic herbs and fresh vegetables. We found it worked well with carrots, celery, courgettes, spinach and potatoes.

The choice of vegetables should be local.

Misino used fresh orecchiette, dried is not nearly as nice but it will suffice.

The olives are obligatory while the anchovies are not, they simply add flavour.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 600 g courgettes, sliced thick
  • 500 g orecchiette
  • 350 g onion, chopped
  • 300 g tomatoes, skinned, chopped
  • 200 g celery, diced small
  • 150 g spinach
  • 125 g carrots, diced small
  • 100 g potato, cooked, diced small
  • 100 g pecorino, shaved
  • 75 g black olives
  • 60 ml white wine
  • 30 g anchovies (optional)
  • 30 ml + 15 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • 2 spring rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves

Sauté onions in two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan for 10 minutes.

Add carrots and celery, and, if using, the anchovies. Fry gently for 10 minutes.

Transfer contents of the pan to a large pot. Add water, tomatoes, herbs and seasonings, bring to the boil.

Deglaze frying pan with wine, pour the liquid into the vegetable pot.

Reduce heat under the vegetable pot, simmer for 60 minutes.

Cook the pasta.

Brown the courgette slices in oil in the frying pan.

Wilt the spinach in a pot with a small amount of water, drain liquid into vegetable pot.

Add the olives and potatoes to the vegetable pot.

Assemble the dish.

Pour some soup into bowls, add some pasta, some courgette slices, a dollop of spinach and shavings of pecorino.