Buckwheat (grano saraceno) orecchiette pasta with broccoli. (#Fitaly recipe)

I had a request from a reader on my Facebook page ( Like me! Like me!) for a recipe to accompany this incredibly awesome still life photography from my Instagram account (Follow me! Follow me!) :

buckwheat pasta with broccoli.34-2

Please note that the blurriness is due to a brief incident with an attempt to photograph it from above and the scientific phenomenon of rising steam. Do not use THIS photograph as an indication of the quality of my Instagram feed… there are also plenty of blurry ones of my dog.

The recipe is so easy, that it’s almost silly to write it out like this. But since it goes nicely with my #Fitaly goals, I thought it would be good to share. 

First you have to find buckwheat pasta, sometimes called “sorba noodles” in English. In Italiano, you’ll need to go to a bio store like NaturaSi and look for pasta made from “grano saraceno“. You can also order it online through Tibiona.it or EssenzaBio.it.

The great thing about buckwheat (for anyone still interested), is that it’s not actually a cereal grain. It’s a fruit seed!

Look, even Oprah thinks it’s awesome:

Though it is usually thought of as a grain, buckwheat is actually the seed of a broadleaf plant related to rhubarb. While it is not a true grain, it is used like one in cooking, and it surpasses rice, wheat and corn on almost every measure of healthfulness (including the fact that rice, wheat, and corn are high on the glycemic scale, thus provoking a quick spike in blood sugar levels, a proven promoter of systemic inflammation). Buckwheat, on the other hand, ranks low on the glycemic scale.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Buckwheat-Dr-Perricones-No-5-Superfood#ixzz2tBzLlHyO

Buckwheat in the wild! (source: WholeGrainsCouncil)

The health benefits are insane.Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high blood pressure.” It’s a great source of protein and magnesium, and it may be able to lower blood glucose levels (important for diabetics).


Step 1 is that you get your hands on some of this goodness.

I got mine at NaturaSi this time:

buckwheat pasta with broccoli.49

Step 2 is to cook some broccoli

We erroneously boiled it and added the pasta to the same water. However, upon further research I have come to discover that boiling is not the best method to retain all the health benefits of broccoli. You’d be better off steaming or roasting it. If you roast it (or sauté it), add a clove of garlic and some peperoncino for a kick. If you boil or steam, do that in the pan later.

buckwheat pasta with broccoli.18

Step 3 is cook the pasta

We just added it to the boiling water with the broccoli in it. But if you steam the broccoli separately, obviously, just cook the pasta as you normally would. (With a pinch of salt in the water.)

buckwheat pasta with broccoli.10

Step 4 is to whirl it around in a pan with some garlic and peperoncino.

Sorry, I left this step out in the first version because we do it with ALL pasta dishes, and I just forgot. Thanks, Gio!

Step 5 is to heap it on your plate and into your tummy.

Couldn’t be easier. You can grate a little Parmiggiano-Reggiano over the top to maintain the local health regulations and keep your marito from complaining too much about “what you do to the pasta?!

buckwheat pasta with broccoli.17

Enjoy! Share your buckwheat creations in the comments! (Next up – I want to try Buckwheat Pancakes!! mmmmm)

7 thoughts on “Buckwheat (grano saraceno) orecchiette pasta with broccoli. (#Fitaly recipe)

  1. “Oh, the humanity!” Just joking, M, Just joking 🙂

    But not even a drizzle of olive oil? Salt? Peperoncino? Nothing?

    • oh, well, yes, obviously… all three of those. I thought those were given. Do I need to spell that out? (probably… adding it now… )

  2. Yummy! My boyfriend does it the Southern way, sauteeing the broccoli with oil, garlic and chilli after boiling it. They do like that garlic-chilli combo.

  3. Looks good and healthy! Great blog! I live in Rome and have been married to my Italian husband for 20 years, I can relate to your anecdotes.The one about leaving the artichoke on your plate and your mother-in-law…so true!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s