Orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes

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Orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes is one of the most characteristic dishes in Apulia, in the South of Italy. Apulia, Puglia in Italian, is the home of orecchiette pasta, along with Basilicata, a region close by.

The peculiarity of orecchiette

Orecchiette take their name from their shape. In fact, orecchiette translates to “small ears” in English. In fact, orecchiette means small ears in English. This characteristic shape is simple to make by dragging a small piece of pasta dough with a knife on a rugged surface and then inverting the curled shape that forms.

Orecchiette is a simple pasta variety that doesn’t require a pasta machine to shape and the dough only contains three ingredients: water, semolina, and salt. In Apulia, there are many dishes that can be made with this type of pasta. Along with this orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes, the most classic recipe for orecchiette in Apulia is the one with broccoli rabe.

Ingredients for orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes

First thing first: make your own orecchiette. How? By following our super easy recipe here. Well, it’s not mandatory but highly recommended! You can of course skip this step and buy orecchiette from a close-by store.

Choose a good quality brand because taste and consistency are important. Pasta should always maintain that al dente consistency after it has been cooked.

The rest of the recipe is very easy to make: you will need to cook the whole peeled tomatoes with a garlic clove in oil, adding salt and pepper, to create a sauce. Meanwhile, in a pot, cook the fresh pasta with arugula for 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and arugula, and mix with the tomato sauce that will be already cooked.

Can I store it?

We do not recommend storing fresh pasta but if you need to, you can keep it in an airtight container for 1-2 days in your refrigerator.

Have you ever visited Apulia and eaten one of the most characteristic dishes of Southern Italy? Tell us in the comments, including whether you have ever made your homemade orecchiette. We would love to hear your story!

orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes

Orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes

Orecchiette with arugula and tomatoes is one of the most characteristic dishes in Apulia, in the South of Italy. Apulia, Puglia in Italian, is the home of orecchiette.
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people


  • Cooking pot
  • Saucepan


  • 200 grams orecchiette pasta
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 400 grams whole peeled tomatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 100 grams arugula


  • Prepare the orecchiette pasta if making your own. Follow a recipe here and adjust the amount for as many people as you need.
  • In a saucepan, heat some olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic clove. After a moment, add the tomatoes.
  • Mix and squish the tomatoes while cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for 15 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a separate pot. Add salt, the orecchiette, and the previously washed arugula. Cook for five minutes.
  • When the pasta and arugula are ready, drain them well and add them into the pan with the sauce. Mix well and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Serve.


Nutritional information shall not be used for medical reasons.

Keyword italian dish, orecchiette with arugulaI
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  1. 5 stars
    I wish I had a ready-made one on the plate right now! I love rucola, but I never used it in pasta before. Absolutely must try!

  2. 5 stars
    The flavours in this were amazing. My family loved it, the sauce was quick to make. Making the orichiette took longer even though I don quite often make my own pasta. It was a lovely dish to make.

  3. 5 stars
    I’m eager to make this! I love how such simple ingredients come together for a fresh new twist on a pasta dinner. Thanks for sharing!

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