Orecchiette are a type of pasta typical of Puglia, more specifically of the area in and around Bari. In this region there are lots of delicious ways to prepare this pasta, including a recipe from Bari with turnip tops and one from Salento with tomato sauce and strong-flavoured ricotta.

Today’s recipe will show you how to prepare a very tasty version, with turnip tops and sausage meat!

Foto © Sale & Pepe per Palazzetti

“Orecchiette” with sausage meat and turnip tops: recipe


  • 600 g fresh “orecchiette” pasta
  • 320 g dry “orecchiette” pasta
  • 1 kg turnip tops
  • 1 organic orange
  • 1 onion
  • 300 g sausage
  • 1 pinch of chilli powder
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


  • Remove the heads and the tender leaves from the turnip tops and rinse them under cold, running water. Peel the onion, cut it in half, place each half on its flat side on the chopping board and slice it thinly.
  • Use a small, sharp knife to cut the sausage open lengthwise, remove the skin and squash the meat  lightly with a fork.
  • Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan, add the onion and brown it at a low temperature for 3-4 minutes. Turn the temperature up slightly and add the sausage meat. Cook for 4-5 minutes while stirring.
  • Grate the orange peel and set it aside. Pour the juice of the orange onto the sausage meat and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and turn the burner off.
  • Pour a large quantity of water in a pot, add salt and boil the turnip tops for 5-6 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Add the “orecchiette” to the boiling water and cook them for the time indicated on the package.
  • When the pasta is ready, add the turnip tops to the boiling water. Drain the pasta with the vegetables and transfer them to the pan containing the sausage. Switch the burner on. Stir and sprinkle with the grated orange peel and a pinch of chilli powder. Stir again, leave to rest for one minute then serve immediately.

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