Orecchiette with sprout tops, pancetta and anchovies

Aaron Craze spruces up pasta with a wine-based sauce of punchy Italian ingredients and tender sprout tops
By Aaron Craze
Orecchiette with sprout tops, pancetta and anchovies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 120 g sprout tops
  • 150 g orecchiette pasta
  • 20 g pancetta, finely chopped
  • olive oil, for frying and serving
  • 3 canned anchovy fillets
  • 1 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tsp butter
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
  • 60 g parmesan, grated or shaved


1. Trim any tiny sprouts from the base of the sprout tops and keep to one side while you dhred the leaves. Blanch the leaves in a pan of boiling, salted water for about 30 seconds, the sccoop them out and refresh under cold running water. Set aside to drain completely. Add the little sprouts to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes before draining.

2. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook slowly so that the fat in the meat renders.

4. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until softened.

5. Add the sprout tops and butter and toss until the butter melts.

6. Pour in the white wine, bring to the the boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the tiny sprouts and capers.

7. Add the pasta and toss, then pour in just enough pasta cooking liquid to moisten the dish.

8. When all is hot, remove from the heat. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve sprinkled with the chilli and parmesan.

Rate This Recipe