Orecchiette con Zucca e Cicoria


Orecchiette con Zucca e cicoria

A perfect dish for fall.

Pumpkin. Bitter greens. Fresh pasta.

Topped with Sicilian olive oil and fresh pecorino – a perfect blend of sale e amaro [salt and bitterness]

This dish encompasses the best things about Italian food – few, simple, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients

It makes a great lunch or primi piatto [first plate] for dinner. Follow it with a piece of grilled white fish and pair it with a chilled white wine.



Ingredients [serves 2]

– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 small white onion, diced
– 1 1/2 cups zucca [pumpkin]
– 2-3 cups cicoria [chicory]
– 1 1/2 cups fresh orecchiette
– pecorino to taste
– salt to taste

– butternut squash [or any winter squash] can be used in place of zucca
– kale, chard or another dark leafy green can be used in place of cicoria



  1. Boil water for pasta [season with salt]

  2. Dice white onion

  3. Heat oil in a sauté pan and add diced onion, stirring occasionally until onions have softened


4. Prep zucca

Remove the skin, rinse and chop the zucca into roughly 1/2 inch cubes. Add to sauté pan and cook with onions for roughly 15 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Season with a pinch or two of salt.


5. Prep cicoria and cook pasta

Wash the cicoria [or whatever dark leafy green you have] very well. I find it’s best to let the green soak in water for a few minutes before rinsing them – it allows the dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Once throughly cleaned, remove and discard the base. Chop leaves into roughly 1 in pieces.

Cook pasta according to package directions [al dente – check 1-2 minutes before directed time]. Reserve some pasta water prior to draining the orecchiette and don’t rinse it.

Add cicoria to sauté pan when zucca is almost done – when easily pierced with a fork. Sauté for roughly 5 minutes or until tender.


6. Bring it all together

Add orecchiette to the sauté pan with the zucca, cicoria and onion. Slowly add in reserved pasta water and fold to combine ingredients.

Plate and top with freshly grated pecorino cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.


Nutrition Information

per serving

Calories: 412.3
Carbs: 70.4 g
Protein: 12.2 g
Fat: 9.1 g

RecipeKelly PowersComment