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Recipe: The Pollan Family’s Orecchiette With Artichokes

Teenagers love pasta, so we were delighted when the Pollan family shared this delicious pasta recipe, which appears in their new cookbook, The Pollan Family Table.

Orecchiette Pasta with Artichokes

Orecchiette is Italian for “little ears” and we have been making these little ears with broccoli and artichoke hearts for family get-togethers for so many years. We love how there is almost an equal ratio of green to pasta in this dish. The sun-dried tomatoes add a delightful sweet tanginess, and the red pepper flakes, a hint of spice. We tend to double the recipe because this simple yet satisfying dish holds up beautifully as leftovers.

4 to 6 servings


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, cut in thin slices
  • One 9 oz box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 5 cups 1-inch broccoli florets
  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the artichoke hearts and sauté until they begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Fill a large mixing bowl with water and ice and set aside.

4. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and blanch until the color brightens, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice water to shock, leaving the pot of water boiling for the pasta. Once the broccoli has cooled, drain it in a colander.

5. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in the colander.

6. Return the skillet with the artichokes to medium-high heat, add the white wine and the vegetable broth, and cook until it is hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in the pasta, adding some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce seems dry, and toss until well combined. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley. Serve hot.

7. Enjoy!

Excerpted from THE POLLAN FAMILY TABLE by Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan. Copyright © 2014 by Old Harvest Way, LLC.  Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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