Recipe: Orecchiette Pasta with Spinach and Garlic

Orichette Pasta with Spinach and Garlic
Orecchiette Pasta with Spinach and Garlic, Courtesy: “Fresh Ways with Pasta”

As an Italian-American, I can tell you that we like our pasta shapes! This recipe calls for the cup-shaped orecchiette pasta, which is great for holding the garlic and chile mixture. Such an easy and quick recipe, this comfort food will be a go to dish after a long day at work or play.

2 bunches (about 12 oz. each) spinach, rinsed well and drained
21 oz. dry orecchiette pasta (cup-shaped) or ruote pasta (wheel-shaped)
1/3 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. crushed dried hot red chiles
1/3 to ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Remove and discard spinach stems, chop leaves coarsely and set aside.
  2. In a 6-8 quart pot, cook orecchiette in 4 quarts boiling water just until tender to bite (about 12-15 minutes), or cook according to package directions.
  3. Just before the pasta is done, stir in spinach and cook, uncovered, stirring to distribute the spinach, just until water returns to a full boil.
  4. Drain pasta and spinach.
  5. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in wide frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Stir in garlic and chiles and cook, uncovered, until garlic turns opaque (about 2 minutes).
  7. Add pasta and spinach to pan, mic lightly using two spoons.
  8. Season to taste with sale.
  9. Serve with cheese to taste.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • I recommend chopping the spinach more than a course chop. Mine seemed to still be in pieces that were too big, so that the spinach did not distribute nicely. Chop it smaller for a more even mix of pasta and spinach.
  • I cooked the garlic and chiles in pan which I used to cook the pasta, while the pasta was resting in the strainer. The pasta did not stick together and I only used one pan overall!

Yield: 4 dinner servings

Adapted From: “Fresh Ways with Pasta,” sixth printing, February, 1992 (Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA).



4 thoughts on “Recipe: Orecchiette Pasta with Spinach and Garlic

  1. orecchiette September 8, 2014 / 8:01 pm

    Well done, approved by a national Bari (Apulia Italy)


    • Nancy at Food Mingle Blog September 9, 2014 / 3:29 pm

      Thanks so much – I am so glad to get the approval of a national Bari. My father’s side of the family is from Bari, so it really means a lot for you to approve. Thanks for stopping by!


    • Nancy at Food Mingle Blog April 14, 2014 / 1:06 pm

      Hi Nancy –
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for posting your comment. Giada’s version sounds really good!


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