I was on my own last night, and had planned on heading out for a burger. But then I got to searching the travel websites for a very-much-hoped-for European trip this fall. Naturally the search brought me to Italy and, well, there went the beef-and-beer plans.
This whole thing took around half an hour. And everything I needed was already in the house. So was plenty of wine, of course, and so I cracked open a bottle and got to work.
In enough well-salted water to cook a pound of pasta, blanch a large head of broccoli, or a couple medium-size heads, then set aside. Do not throw away the water; you'll be using it to cook the pasta.
At medium heat slowly saute around 1/3-pound of cubed pancetta (or bacon if you prefer) in olive oil until lightly crisp, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
Saute 4 or 5 sliced garlic cloves in the same pan, along with some hot pepper if you like.
Once the garlic has softened add the pancetta and the broccoli to the pan and incorporate.
After the orecchiette is cooked add it to the pan using a large slotted spoon. Again, do not throw away the pasta water just yet.
All that's left to do now is add around three ladles full of the pasta water and incorporate.
Oh, and top with some grated cheese.
But you knew that.